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Over the years, enlisted Reservists have proven mettle.

Soon after the Air Force was established in 1948, more than 22,00(1 enlisted Reservists were assigned to Reserve units across the country. They comprised more than half the Reserve unit strength, which stood at 43,320. Today, the combined Air Force Reserve enlisted strength is 52,976.

Enlisted Reservists have proven their mettle in various operations during the past six decades. Here are just a few of their stories.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bradley, an aeromedical evacuation technician with the 34th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron based out of Yokota, Japan, was instrumental in the unit airlifting patients from Vietnam to the United States. His unit was also responsible for caring for the USS Pueblo crewmembers after their release. Other medical enlisted Reservists included Staff Sgt. John Belz and Airman First Class Larry Maschhoff of the 52nd Medical Services Squadron, who transported patients to a casualty staging unit ward at the U.S. Air Force hospital at Scott Air Force Base, III

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On Aug. 29,1990, a C-5A Galaxy transport (aircraft 68-0228) took off from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, in support of Desert Shield On board was a crew of nine Reservists, who had all volunteered to fly the mission, from the 68th Airlift Squadron, 433rd Airlift Wing, at Kelly AFB, Texas. As the aircraft started to climb off the runway, one of the thrust reversers suddenly deployed, causing the aircraft to lose control and crash. Eight of the nine crew members, along with five passengers, were killed in the crash. The four people who survived the crash were all in the rear troop compartment. The sole crewman to survive.. Staff Sgt. Lorenzo Galvan Jr., was awarded the Airman's Medal for his actions in evacuating the survivors from the wreckage.

On Aug. 1, 2003, while leading 11 munitions specialists on an explosive ordnance demolition team at Kirkirk AB, Iraq, Master Sgt. Robert Jackson noticed smoke coming from a 120 mm projectile in a munitions stockpile. Realizing the material was white phosphorus and extremely flammable, he quickly ran to the stockpile, removed the projectile and immediately submerged it into a fire fighting pool. His superb actions prevented the serious injury and possible loss of life of all of his team members and 14 other military personnel in the immediate area. For his heroic actions, Sergeant Jackson received the Airman's Medal on Oct. 23, 2003. He is assigned to the Reserve's 442nd Munitions Flight at Whiteman AFB, Mo.

Our Reserve enlisted force is filled with heroes. As we commemorate our 60th anniversary, enlisted Reservists continually serve as the foundation of our Air Force and Air Force Reserve. It's truly my pleasure to represent each of you, our most valuable resource--our Airmen! You are all unrivaled wingmen!

By Chlef Master Sgt. Troy J. Molntash

Command Chief Master Sergaant, Air Force Reserve Commend
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Title Annotation:Chief's View
Author:Molntash, Troy J.
Publication:Citizen Airman
Date:Apr 1, 2008
Words:470
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