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March Retiree's Corner

U.S. Air Force retired Master Sgt. Bob Barkalow from the South Carolina Air National Guard at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, is recognized as an honorary Chief Master Sgt., on Oct. 13, 2014 at an unknown location. Barkalow writes the monthly Retiree's Corner for the SCANG's eNewsletter. (U.S. Air National Guard courtesy photo)

U.S. Air Force retired Master Sgt. Bob Barkalow from the South Carolina Air National Guard at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, is recognized as an honorary Chief Master Sgt., on Oct. 13, 2014 at an unknown location. Barkalow writes the monthly Retiree's Corner for the SCANG's eNewsletter. (U.S. Air National Guard courtesy photo)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- For some reason, I felt this was a great Luncheon, our Valentine's Luncheon. I can't put my finger on it, but it seemed to me a Luncheon that everyone really enjoyed, plus we had a goodly number of folks to show, around 60 folks. We had as our featured speaker the pending new Assistant Adjutant General-Air, Col. Scott Lambe, he told us about past, present and future activities concerning McEntire. He also fielded some questions from the audience. As I said before, by having a different McEntire featured speaker, I am guessing we are as well informed about the goings on, and the trials and tribulations that go on at McEntire. I maintain if you come to our Luncheons, you will soon know as much as the folks that work there every day, maybe better?

McEntire History: I am seeing one major deployment, and an important one, for the month of March 2003, and that would be the second deployment to Qatar for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Again, with this deployment, the pilots picked up a lot of flying time, certainly not as much as the first Qatar deployment (OEF). There were about 400 folks on this deployment. McEntire was part of the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, with our Col. Keith Coln serving as Vice Commander. There were more than 400 missions flown over Iraq. Everyone came home in the May 9-10 range, including the planes. Folks from the 245th Air Traffic Control Squadron, 169th Security Forces Squadron, 169th Services Flight and 169th Civil Engineering Squadron all contributed to the effort as well. Some were at other locations, but certainly a good 'war' effort by all.

My third round of Korean Call-Up folks continue: These folks were all part of the 157th Fighter Squadron (SE), we think that means single engine. They are as follows: Master Sgts. Leo W. Allstun Jr., Selvest E. Brockington, Hugh V. Harbort, John M. Mills, Robert W. Padgett Jr., George W. Reeves, James A. Weston Jr. Tech. Sgt. George W. Lowder. Staff Sgts. John W. Aiken, Julian H. Ardis, Carl B. Boone, Edward M. Byorick, Thomas B. Campbell, Herman F. Carson Jr., Francis L. Christmus, Carville P. Chalk Jr., Richard E. Chalk, and Alton G. Cox, who incidentally was our first retiree, effective in 1963. Some of the names you may recognize, and others you may not.

Our March Luncheon is slated to be held March 1 at our old stomping grounds, the Fort Jackson NCO Club, beginning at noon. We will call this our Spring Fling Luncheon. I am trying new 'marketing' techniques to keep interest up? Bring friends even though they may not have been Congaree/McEntire folks. We had a Marine show up as well as a former Berlin Call-Up guy Gene Jarrett, whose given name is Alburn E. Jarrett, an A2C attached to 169th CAMS. He and I used to sit close to each other at the USC ballgames, years ago, we recognized each other. He went on to be commissioned into the Army Guard later.