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Chief shares story with Airman
Chief Master Sgt. Troy Eden, new command chief at the 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, Langley Air Force Base, Va., shares a story with Tech. Sgt. Connie Howcraft, 480th ISR Wing non-commissioned officer in charge of wing training, during one of his rounds to meet Airmen. One of Eden's top priorities is to meet the men and women of the 480th ISR Wing and hear about their successes as well as their challenges. (U. S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jonathan Muller)
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480th ISR Wing welcomes new command chief

Posted 8/5/2011   Updated 8/8/2011 Email story   Print story

    


by Marge McGlinn
480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing


8/5/2011 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. -- The 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing welcomed the newest member of its leadership team, Chief Master Sgt. Troy Eden, who took the seat as the wing's command chief July 6.

Eden comes to Langley from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, where he served as the senior enlisted leader, National Security Agency/Central Security Service, Hawaii. The chief began his Air Force career in January 1991 and has held a variety of tactical, operational and strategic-level positions throughout his career.

Eden took the time to answer a few questions about his new role and first impressions of the 480th ISR Wing and its Airmen.

Public Affairs: When you entered the Air Force in January 1991, did you plan to be in as long as you have, earn the rank of chief master sergeant or think you would be wing command chief?

Eden: The simple answer is "no." I did not see myself being as blessed and as fortunate as I have been. I was not the best student in high school and did not prepare myself for college, or for that matter, anything else other than being a farm hand. I was 20 years old when it really hit me that I need to start making better decisions and preparing myself to be successful in life.

I often say that I made the best decision I could at the time, after exhausting every other option. I signed up when Desert Shield was building up and entered the Air Force just after the start of Desert Storm. The minute I put on the uniform, something changed in me. The uniform gave me a sense of pride, a belonging that I had not experienced before, and with that feeling, I was hooked.

One thing that strikes me looking back at my career is that I would have never imagined myself in the position I am in now. However, that did not stop me for preparing for this position. That is the importance of continuous learning. For me, it was simply earning my Community College of the Air Force degree that got the ball rolling. That accomplishment gave me the confidence that I could actually earn a college degree. Since then, I went on to earn a bachelor's and master's degree, but I personally look back at that CCAF degree as the cornerstone.

PA: What's your first impression of the 480th ISR Wing and its Airmen?

Eden: Because our wing is so vast and complex, I have not had the opportunity to meet most of our members, yet. However, I have learned very quickly that the sun never sets on the men and women of the 480th ISR Wing and we are a "global wing" in the truest sense. In the coming months, I plan to meet as many Airmen as possible. Now, when I say meet, I truly want to meet the Airmen and their families, hear about all their successes as well as the challenges of daily life in the Air Force.

PA: What's your most important duty as command chief?

Eden: What really matters to me is our Airmen, their families, the mission we do every day, and the community around us. In the coming years we will face many challenges because the operations tempo is not likely to slow down. The sacrifices we make, along with our families, will continue, but we need to remind ourselves that we do not stand alone.

We are intertwined and serve on the same team. We will continue to approach our mission set and day-to-day duties with a mental toughness and positive attitude that helps the load to become bearable.

My most singularly important duty as command chief is to be your ears and voice. I truly consider it a privilege and honor to serve in this position.

PA: Any words of wisdom for the Airmen of the 480th ISR Wing?

Eden: When I first meet someone, I know two key things about them from the start; I know they are in the Air Force because of the uniform they wear and I know their family name because of the name tag on that uniform. If we go about our duties remembering all those who have sacrificed before us to ensure our freedom, as well as, the sacrifices of our parents, family members and friends, to get us where we're at today, then I think we'll represent the uniform just fine.

We are serving at an incredible time in history when your country is, arguably, asking you to do more than any other generation for a longer time - stay positive - stay motivated.

I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes that has served as motivation for me over the years; "If not us, who? If not now, when?" John F. Kennedy.

Quick facts:
Hometown: Lancaster, Ohio
Hobbies: hunting, fishing, camping, all outdoor activities
Enjoys coaching football, baseball, and youth wrestling.



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