Friday, February 6, 2009

Top Story>>New wing commander discusses priorities

by Staff Sgt. Juan Torres
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 19th Airlift Wing welcomed Col. Gregory S. Otey, former Air Force Expeditionary Center vice commander, with a change of ceremony held Jan. 28 at Hangar 276.

Colonel Otey, who previously served here as Weapons Officer at the C-130 Weapons School from 1995 to 1997, felt very fortunate and excited to return to Little Rock Air Force Base as the host wing commander.
“[My wife] Lisa and I met here,” he added. “We lived here for two years. Two of my sons, Jacob and Chris, were born here and I have been to Little Rock AFB numerous other times throughout my Air Force career for temporary duties and training—it truly is the Home of C-130 Combat Airlift.”

The new wing commander describes his leader style as “servant leadership.” According to the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, the phrase “servant leadership” was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in a 1970 essay titled “The Servant as Leader” which states “The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions...The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served.”
he colonel also described his main leadership philosophy. “Simple—mission first, people always, 19th Airlift Wing excellence always,” he said.

Colonel Otey discussed some of the quality of life issues he would like to champion to benefit Team Little Rock Airmen and their families.

“Some of the issues that I would like to tackle are privatized housing, a base our Airmen and families are proud of and to help improve schools for our kids in the local area,” he said.

When asked about his goals while in command of the 19th Airlift Wing, Colonel Otey said he has purposely not set any goals at this time because he wanted see which areas would be the most effective use of resources.
“I want to see what is working and what we can improve on and create goals based on that to take us to the next level,”said the colonel.

The commander described Team Little Rock's Combat Airlift mission and its importance “as an enabler in this nation's ability to fight the Global War on Terrorism.”

“Combat Airlift helps provide sustainment for the warfighter. It takes convoys off the road, reducing ground force exposure to enemy attacks. Through our airdrop capability it provides resupply for isolated troops who cannot get resupplied by other means. It transports wounded warriors to lifesaving care,” he added.

The colonel views the relationship between Team Little Rock and the local community as outstanding.

“Take a look at the number of community leaders who came out for the change of command...there were a lot.” he said. “The local community takes pride in their Air Force Base and the Airmen of Little Rock AFB are very fortunate to have such great community support. I want to help that relationship grow to the next level.”

The colonel concluded by expressing his thrill at returning to the center of the C-130 universe and describing his plans while here at The Rock.

“I am very excited to be here and look forward to leading the 19th Airlift Wing Black Knights and Team Little Rock,” he said. “I plan to work with our Airmen and community partners to ensure that when people hear about Little Rock AFB they will know it is the Home of C-130 Combat Airlift and we provide Unrivaled Combat Airlift for America...Always!”


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