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February Retiree's Corner

Retirees from the South Carolina Air National Guard gather for their monthly luncheon at the Fort Jackson NCO Club on Feb. 7, 2020.

Retirees from the South Carolina Air National Guard gather for their monthly luncheon at the Fort Jackson NCO Club on Feb. 7, 2020, to keep in touch with each other and receive briefings on the work currently being done for Airmen at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C. (U.S. Air National Guard courtesy photo).

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --

This will be my fourth article honoring the Desert Storm Call-Up and first of ten articles honoring the 169th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (CAMS). There are 459 individuals and I will be listing them alphabetically. I will also try to inject some stories to make things interesting. But I do want to honor each and every individual since they all contributed in some manner or other no matter their assigned section or shop. I feel there was some shifting of duties and personnel during the course of the deployment just to get the job done. That was up to mainly the commanders, chiefs, and shop chiefs. The organization chart consisted of the following individuals:

Lt. Col. Edwin W. Fisher – Deputy Commander for Maintenance

Maj. Charles E. Savage – Commander 

Chief Master Sgt. Jerry C. Couch, First Sergeant     

Organizational Maintenance:

Maj. Russell A. Rushe, OIC

Chief Master Sgt. John T. Bowie, NCOIC

Administration Branch:

Maj. John V. Harsey, OIC

Senior Master Sgt. Samuel H. Ezzell, NCOIC

Munitions Branch:

Capt. David S. Cregger, OIC

Chief Master Sgt. Thomas A. Marshall, NCOIC

Field Maintenance:

1st Lt. Leroy Williams

Chief Master Sgt. Leo A. Chapmon, NCOIC

Avionics Branch:

Chief Master Sgt. Joseph F. Kopak, NCOIC

I have to tell this story. At one of our luncheons a while back, Marleen McDonald was there as well as Sam Ezell. Sam got up and explained some folks went down to Al Kharj to eat and shop around well after the Air War and things had calmed down. Marleen was with them and I can’t remember where they were, a shop or restaurant, but one of the locals came up and wanted to ‘buy’ Marleen. They had a heck of a time telling the guy she wasn’t for sale. A classic story, as far as I know, none of our other female Airmen had that honor!

It is almost unbelievable how many of our Desert Storm folks became retirees.

For this article we are honoring 46 men and women of the 169th CAMS. The rank they had at the time of deployment is listed and, if known, the rank they had at retirement.

-Master Sgt. Travis V. Abernathy, Sr. retired in 1994 and as far as we know he is still living.

-Airman 1st Class Frederick D. Addison. After returning he transferred to the Air Reserves Personnel Center (ARPC).

-Airman Jennie C. Addy. I have no information about her at all.

-Tech. Sgt. Robert E. Age he retired as a Master Sgt. in 1996 and he is still living. He has been a faithful attendee at our luncheons.

-Tech. Sgt. David A. Alderman retired in 2014 as a Chief Master Sgt. and is still living.

-Tech. Sgt. Carroll L. Allen, Jr. retired in 1998 as a Tech Sgt. He deserves a lot of credit meticulously coming up with daily logs and then combining them into the 169th Operations history. My background with Carroll is when he first came to SCANG, he was assigned as a radio operator with the 240th so I got to know him. Later he transferred to public affairs and became the 169th CAMS Unit Historian during Desert Storm. He was a DSS Auditor as his civilian job and did a great job.

-Tech. Sgt. William L. Allen he retired in 2004 as a Senior Master Sgt. and is still living.

-Airman 1st Class Jeffrey A. Alsbrooks. After returning he transferred to the NCANG.

-Staff Sgt. Michael A. Amick was discharged in 1992.

-Staff Sgt. Paul G. Amos, III retired in 2014 as a Master Sgt. and is still living. I see him around sometimes.

-Airman 1st Class Mark A. Anderson. I have no information on him.

-Staff Sgt. Michael L. Anderson. When returning he transferred to the U.S. Air Force Reserves in 1991.

-Staff Sgt. Albert A. Atkins retired in 1991 and is still living.

-Tech. Sgt. Albert L. Atkins retired in 1995 as a Master Sgt. He is still living as far as we know.

-Airman 1st Class James G. Austin retired in 2008 as a Master Sgt. He is still living as far as we know.

-Airman Kevin C. Baker was discharged in 1994.

-Staff Sgt. Robert G. Baker retired in 2014 as a Senior Master Sgt. and is still living.

-Sgt. William A. Banks transferred to the ARPC in 1992.

-Staff Sgt. James R. Barnett transferred to the ALANG in 1995.

-Master Sgt.  Jeffie G. Bedenbaugh retired in 1995 as a Master Sgt. and is still living.

-Airman David C. Bell is still active. He commissioned in 2003 and was recently the 169th Maintenance Squadron commander. He then transferred to another duty slot.

-Senior Master Sgt. Robert E. Berry retired in 1992, and if I am not mistaken passed away in 2009. His name is on our monument.

-Master Sgt. James F. Black retired in 1994 as a Master Sgt. I’m not sure if he is still living.

-Staff Sgt. Barry W. Blackwood transferred to the NCANG in 2008.

-Tech. Sgt. Robert E. Bloedorn transferred to the UTANG in 1993.

-Staff Sgt. Glen H. Boatwright commissioned and just retired in 2020 as a Lt. Col.

-Staff Sgt. Timothy A. Bodie retired as a Senior Master Sgt. went through some bone marrow transplants and passed away in 2012.  His name is on our monument.

-Master Sgt. James R. Bolin retired in 1999 as a Senior Master Sgt. As far as we know he is still living.

-Sgt. Charles E. Bowen. He is currently a Chief Master Sgt. for the 169th Maintenance Squadron.

-Chief Master Sgt.  James “Jim” T. Bowie. Jim retired in 1994 as a Chief Master Sgt.  During Desert Storm he was the Flight Line Superintendent and did a remarkable job. Jim is still living. Right now he is located at the Rice House in Columbia and has been for a while.

-Staff Sgt. Barry L. Boyle, II, retired as a Chief Master Sgt. in 2019. He is living at Daniel Island.

-Airman 1st Class Donald D. Bradley was discharged in 1994.

-Tech. Sgt. Michael D. Brazell retired in 2000 as a Master Sgt. He played some softball with his brother, an Army Guardsman, good guys and still living.

-Staff Sgt. Thomas P. Brennan transferred to the ARPC in 1992.

-Airman 1st Class Daryl R. Brewer transferred to the ARPC in 1994.

-Airman Thomas D. Bright, Jr. I don’t have any information on him.

-Master Sgt. Thomas J. Brock he retired in 1999 as a Chief Master Sgt. He passed away in 2003 and his name is on our monument.

-Tech. Sgt. Wallace Brockington, Jr. retired in 1999 as a Tech. Sgt. and as far as we know he is still living.

-Sgt. Mason R. Brooks, Jr. retired in 2012 as a Tech. Sgt. and is still living.

-Staff Sgt. Walter W. Brooks, Jr. was discharged in 1991.

-Staff Sgt. Benjamin E. Brown transferred to the ARPC in 1991.

-Senior Master Sgt. Dane S. Brown retired in 2001 as a Chief Master Sgt. and is still living.

-Tech. Sgt. David B. Brown retired in 2000 as a Master Sgt. and is still living as far as we know.

-Tech. Sgt. James D. Brown retired in 1998 as a Master Sgt. and is still living as far as we know.

-Airman Kevin L. Brown was discharged in 1996.

-Sgt. Randy T. Brown was discharged in 2000.

Of the 46 people honored this month, 25 were retirees and one is still active. So that is 55 percent that stayed to retire or eventually will retire. The breakdown on this group is as follows: Two Lt. Cols., six Chief Master Sgts., five Senior Master Sgts., 10 Master Sgts., and four Tech. Sgts.  

My running tally thus far includes 193 honorees, of which 136 of them have retired or will retire which is 70 percent. The breakdown on the entire group to date, is two Maj. Gens., four Brig. Gens., 13 Cols., 12 Lt. Cols., six Majs.,  20 Chief Master Sgts., 13 Senior Master Sgts., 47 Master Sgts., 15 Tech. Sgts., four Staff Sgts., and one Senior Airman.

Next month, another 46 Call-Ups, and hopefully some more stories.  Also, in February 2002, the flying unit went to Qatar for OEF (Operation Enduring Freedom) for 90 days, with around 200 of our folks deploying at that time.