Barksdale AFB, LA (KSLA) -Did you know there are more than 170-thousand civilians who directly support the Air Force?
Their dedication to the mission is the same as those in uniform. One of those civilians was honored for going above and beyond his call of duty to ensure the safety of those in the sky.
"It’s one team, one fight."
After 30 years in uniform, Cullen Combs transitioned to civilian life and he didn't have to go very far.
"I was a Chief Master Sergeant here at Global Strike, my last job was in the other building at Global Strike as a Chief Enlisted Manager," explained Combs, Tech Director, 8 AF & Joint-Global Strike Operations Center (J-GSOC), "I loved what I did for the military, but now in my civilian job I love what I do now too. I made a really easy transition to civilian life."
His new role provides direct support to air crews, supplying them with vital information in order to complete their mission.
"We keep our aircrew safe that’s what we do. We tell them what the threats are to their aircraft, they may be going to areas that are not so pleasant to go, to which just want to make sure that they’re safe."
Over the last 12 months Combs has proven to be an indispensable part of the team.
"He was very critical in helping to establish our intelligence organization for the Joint Global Strike Operations Center. There was a period of about 6 to 9 months last year when he was in charge of all the intelligence operations in the building here because the Colonel who was here before me was deployed," explained Col Mark Mitchem, Director of Intelligence, J-GSOC.
Combs continued efforts earned him the title of Combined 8th Air Force and Joint-Global Strike Command Civilian of the Year.
“I’m extremely humbled and very thankful for the award, and it really is more of a team award, it’s not an individual award for me,” he said, “I love where we’re going, I’m really excited for the future.”
“It shows the significance of our civilian workforce, as well as our uniformed workforce to be able to be integrated in such a way and to really set the foundation and also the credibility of organization is a tremendous feat,” expressed Col Mitchem.
Leading by example, putting the mission first.