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Command chief, USAF Reserve on deck

by Staff Sgt. Randy Redman
Thunderbolt editor

Her career has included assignments as staff technician, section supervisor and superintendent of nursing services. In 1991, during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, she served as facility nursing superintendent, Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

She advises her commander on matters influencing the health, morale, welfare and effective use of more than 70,000 active duty and reserve members within the command.

She serves as the commander's representative to numerous committees, councils, boards, and military and civilian functions. Even with a calendar that's full, she still has the ability to take on just about any task thrown her way. Chief Master Sergeant Cheryl D. Adams, Command Chief Master Sergeant for Air Force Reserve Command, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., was here this week as the guest speaker for the Chief Master Sgt. Aubert E. Dozier, Airman Leadership School graduation Thursday night.

She also had several opportunities this week to meet with local organizations and give them a better understanding of where the reserves fit into the master scheme of the Air Force and the military in general.

She said since she assumed her position in 2001 the biggest change the reserve force has seen is its growth.

"Our folks have always been involved in missions, exercises and the day-to-day business of the Air Force," said Chief Adams.

"After the events of September 11th, it's the participation that's really grown."

She also said the entire country seems to have a better appreciation of what the Air Force Reserves do, not only in a peacetime capacity, but during war as well.

"Our primary peacetime mission is to ensure we have a ready force; that we train (members), and maintain their skills," said Chief Adams. "A typical Air Force reservist can be ready to deploy in 72 hours."

Maintaining a ready force which has that kind of available mobility has its fair share of challenges, and at the top of the list is an operations tempo that is as high as ever.

"Making sure that we balance the time that a reservist has for his civilian employer, for their family, and for themselves," she said. The support from civilian employers over the past couple of years has grown as well. One police department was a shining example of that support.

"Many of its full time policemen were reservists and rather than giving them a hard time when they were called, they hired the backup they needed," said Chief Adams. "They kept in touch with their families, sent care packages to their members who were deployed and if there was a difference in pay, they made it up in full."

The role of a reservist transitions quickly when they are activated to augment the active duty forces. Chief Adams said since most of the reserve force is made up of people who were on active duty at one time, making that change is easy. "The mission during wartime and contingencies is to take those skills that we're ready with, and get out there and hit the ground running," she said. "The bottom line is to contribute to the Air Force's mission. That's what is most important." And just how well are the reserves accomplishing that mission?

"Very well," said Chief Adams proudly. "Just about everywhere you turn around and look; there is a mixture of guard, reserves and active duty working together. When you look at the recognition and the appreciation, I think all of our leadership understands that it is the blending of forces that make us strong."

 

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