Leaders from the 1st Combat Communication Squadron invited retired Chief Master Sgt. Gerald Richards, a 1st CBCS alumnus, to inspire their Airmen and answer questions on the differences between the units early ’60s mission and current operations.
After a year’s worth of working around schedules and trying to pick the perfect opportunity for this meet and greet, both parties finally came together.
“When I took that I.O.U last year, it never occurred to me that I would find myself actually here visiting the 1st CBCS on Ramstein,” Richards said.
The visit allowed Richards to see the newer, innovative way the squadron conducts missions and how the career field has expanded.
“It’s like being back home,” Richards said. “It’s a great honor and privilege for me to meet my old alma mater and witness their advancements.”
Richards enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on May 17, 1960, and after his completion of air traffic control technical school at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., he went on to have a long 25-year career.
After Richards retired, he joined Martin Marietta Corporation and supported modernization efforts to the National Airspace System Plan in 1985. Two years later, he joined the Federal Aviation Administration.
According to Richards and Airmen from the 1st CBCS, the visit benefited them both.
“This was an opportunity for squadron members to learn about where they came from,” said Master Sgt. Dana Leonard, 1st CBCS plans and support director. “Learning about the history of our unit and why it means so much when carrying and executing the 1st CBCS mission of deploy, operate and defend tactical communications and airfield systems is an honor.”