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Our new 189th Airlift Wing command Chief, Chief Ricky Sowell

Command Chief Master Sgt. Ricky Sowell, Command Chief, 189th Airlift Wing.

Command Chief Master Sgt. Ricky Sowell, Command Chief, 189th Airlift Wing.

Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. -- As I embark upon the position of your Wing Command Chief during this UTA, I have some thoughts I would like to share.

First, it is an honor and a privilege to serve in this position. I am humbled by the fact that Colonel Eggensperger  has allowed me this great opportunity.

I have served in the 189th for over twenty four years and believe we have one of, if not the best, Wings in the Air National Guard. My validation for this statement comes from our "Excellent" success in our recent inspections and the zero discrepancies in "Standards," which is absolutely unheard of! Just ask any of our warriors who have served in other ANG wings or have visited other units and they will tell you how special this wing really is. The professionalism and expertise you exhibit on a daily basis is totally impressive.

I want to assure each of you that I take very seriously the trust and responsibility given me.

I know I have big shoes to fill and promise that I will strive for excellence in all I do, serve with the highest level of integrity and will always put service before self. I take our core values to heart and try to live up to these expectations not only in my Air National Guard service but in all aspects of my life.

As I begin serving you in this new role, I realize this can't be done alone. I want to thank my family and especially my wife Sherry for their support over the past twenty four years and for their continued support as we serve this wing together in this new capacity.

Sherry has already attended six events with me over the past couple of months and looks forward to the opportunity to meet you in the ones to come.

In starting this new journey I will rely on my fellow chiefs, first sergeants and other senior NCOs to work through the issues and concerns of our enlisted force.

I will depend on your experience and expertise in the various positions to ensure our enlisted force is well taken care of.

I assure you I don't have all of the answers, but will seek out those who do. I am surrounded by highly motivated and intelligent officers and enlisted who will help me make the right decisions.

Open communication is very important to me. Be upfront and honest and I will do the same for you. I believe that our new incoming State Command Chief Asa Carter hit the nail on the head about honest feedback and communication.

If I don't know the answer, I will tell you, "I don't know." If I know the answer but I am not at liberty to tell you, I will tell you, "I know but I can't tell you." Simply put, I will do my best to keep you in the loop.

I believe our wing leadership does a good job of sharing information but if you have suggestions of how we can communicate more effectively, let us know.

I have an open door policy. Please feel free to drop by to visit, stop me when I am out and about, email me, text me or call me.

I want to know what's on your mind, good and bad. Let me know your concerns but also share with me the positive things that are happening in your life and in our wing.

If you have personal issues, use your chain of command first. Work with your supervisors, senior NCOs, first sergeants and chiefs. Most likely they've been involved in similar issues before and hopefully can help resolve yours quickly. If you don't get the results you need, let me know. I want to thank Chief Wynn for the great job he has done. His passion and commitment to taking care of airmen has been second to none. He has poured his heart and soul into serving as our Command Chief and has set the bar high.

Chief Wynn, your legacy will live on and I thank you for the support, friendship and mentorship you have shown me. Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank each and every one of you for your service to our country, state and wing.