521st AMOW greets new command chief

by Airman 1st Class Hailey Haux
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing welcomed its new command chief, Chief Master Sgt. Gay L.C. Veale, last month.

Veale represents the wing’s highest enlisted level of leadership and represents all Airmen to wing leadership. She serves as the personal adviser to the commander on all issues regarding the welfare, readiness, proper utilization and progress of the enlisted force within the 521st AMOW.

Veale recently sat down with Ramstein public affairs to talk about her views on the 521st AMOW’s role in the Air Force mission, education and the things that shape her as a person.

What does it mean to you to become the new 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing command chief?
Being a command chief for any wing is a huge honor and a privilege. It’s an honor to serve our Airmen and to be able to use my experiences to serve the Airmen of the world’s greatest Air Force.

This wing in particular is really cool for me because I was assigned to one of the squadrons before the unit became a wing. From 2003 to 2006, I was assigned to the 727th Air Mobility Squadron at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, U.K. To find out that I was selected to be the command chief of this wing, I was floored!

What are some of the most important priorities and goals you plan to achieve over the next couple of years?
My priorities are my commander’s priorities. For me, in the role of command chief, it is to remove barriers, accomplish the mission and to take care of our Airmen. That’s my priority, to make sure Airmen have the tools, equipment, resources, man power and anything that is in my control or anything that I can influence that is in someone else’s control, to make their job easier or more efficient to complete our mission.

How do you see the 521st AMOW’s role in the sphere of the Air Force influence?
We provide en route services — aircraft maintenance, aerial port and command and control — in Europe, Southwest and Central Asia, and Northern Africa. Our wing has personnel spread across 19 bases in 13 different countries. But we come together every day as a team to enable AMC’s mission in those areas to move safer, faster and more efficiently. 

Do you have any recommendations on success for young Airmen?
I always tell our Airmen to exceed the standard. Do your job and do it well and great things will come to you. I have never complained about a job that I have had. I always just take the job that I have and do it better than anyone else and that has always served me very well in my career.

What is one of the highlights of your career?
Getting the opportunity to attend the U.S. Navy’s Senior Enlisted Academy at Naval Station Newport, R.I.  Not only did I get to learn about and experience the culture of a sister service, but I also got an inside peek at the Navy’s Chiefs’ Mess.
The Chiefs’ Mess is the Navy’s version of our Top 3 and is a very close-knit group that is highly respected throughout the Navy.  Additionally, we got to visit the USS Constitution in Boston and spend three days at their basic training in Great Lakes, Ill. It was simply an amazing experience all around.

Are there any instances in your past that have helped mold you into the person you are today?
Every single mistake I have made has helped me learn and made me the Airman I am today. Some people see mistakes as failures, but I think of them as learning experiences. I have made plenty, I’m not perfect, but I have learned a lot more from my mistakes than my successes.

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“I am overjoyed to be a part of this wing and this organization,” Veale said. “I am amazed and proud of what you (our Airmen) do every day.”

She said it is easy to get focused on the tasks at hand — fixing an aircraft, moving a pallet, assisting a passenger or providing en route aircrew support.

“I can assure you, leaders notice,” she said. “The recipients of your efforts notice, whether it’s resupplying warfighters, delivering much needed aid to victims of natural disasters, providing aeromedical evacuation for a wounded warrior, or enabling aerial refueling of military aircraft. Thank you for executing the mission safely and efficiently, every day. I’m lucky to be a part of this team.”