Dobbins ARB Welcomes a New Commander
The 94th Airlift Wing welcomed back Brig. Gen. Richard L. Kemble as he returned to become the new Wing Commander. Kemble first called the wing home from August 2010 to February 2014 when he held the position of Vice Commander. “What a phenomenal wing,” said Kemble. “I thought you were good when I was the Vice Commander. I know you are great. We are the best in the 22nd and dare say probably the best in AFRC. I am so happy to get this opportunity to serve with each and every one of you.” During an assumption of command ceremony held on January 6, 2018, Kemble began his new position at the wing after his most recent assignment as Vice Commander of 22nd Air Force, which he held since November 2015. [more]
Presiding over the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Craig L. La Fave, Commander of 22nd Air Force, spoke of Kemble’s leadership strengths.
“Throughout his career, he’s shown a propensity for exceptional and selfless leadership,” said La Fave. “He’s got a big heart and a big brain, so we’re glad he’s here. He’s going to do great as the Wing Commander.”
Kemble has held many positions in the Air Force since commissioning as a distinguished graduate of the University of South Carolina Reserve Officer Training Corps program in 1988.
“This is the third time that we’re bringing General Kemble back for a repeat performance in a leadership role,” said La Fave. “That’s pretty unusual, but not for a leader of his caliber.”
Prior to his assignment at 22nd Air Force, Kemble was assigned to Scott Air Force Base, IL as the Chief of Deployment, Distribution Operations Center for U.S. Transportation Command.
La Fave and Kemble also recognized and thanked Col. James W. Kellogg, Jr., Vice Commander of the 94th Air Wing, for his performance as commander over the past six months.
Kemble ended the ceremony with a challenge to the wing.
“The only thing I ask is that you look after one another and treat each other with respect and the mission will get done,” said Kemble. “There is no doubt in my mind that you are the best at what you do.”
CAPTION: Brig. Gen. Richard Kemble (right) receives the 94th Airlift Wing guidon from Maj. Gen. Craig L. La Fave, 22nd Air Force Commander, during an assumption-of-command ceremony at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, GA, Jan. 6, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kelly Goonan)
Color Barrier for Atlanta Firefighters Broken in 1963
In the city of Atlanta, racial barriers were broken in 1963 as 16 African American rookies were hired for the position of firefighter. The new firefighters received 75 hours of training at the Atlanta Training Facility under the supervision of Chief R.N. McGill. This initial training was done at the recruit’s own expense and own time as they were not yet employees of the city. This was the policy at the time and was not done as resistance to integrating the Fire Department. [more]
Peachtree City PD Awards Citation of Valor to Sgt. James Harris
Sgt. James Harris is a 15-year veteran of the law enforcement profession and has been employed with Peachtree City Police Department since 2014. He demonstrates the traits of an extremely competent and tactical officer. Complemented by his excellent verbal skills and patient and calm demeanor, he exemplifies the virtues of a superior law enforcement officer and stands out as an excellent leader. He was promoted in 2016 and leads a team of officers who consistently reach department goals and objectives. [more]
Beyond the daily duties of a team supervisor, Harris is also a member of the department’s Special Response Team (SRT and SWAT). Harris is a committed SRT team member who takes an active role in bettering himself and those around him through the bi-monthly training opportunities he participates in during SWAT training. This is a voluntary role that requires personal sacrifice to maintain a state of mental and physical readiness while remaining flexible for call outs.
Since being employed with the Peachtree City Police Department, he has also requested and completed the Crisis Intervention Techniques Instructor course. This year he coordinated an offsite class that certified officers from surrounding agencies. During the planning phase, roof work was scheduled at the station so Harris coordinated with his local church to host the training course there instead.
Harris also requested and completed certification to be an agency firearms instructor and rifle instructor (one of only four in the department). His certification allowed him to assist in the continued training of all officers of the agency.
All of these extra duties require dedication and flexibility in both work and personal schedules. The level of physical and mental training can become exhausting, especially after a 12-hour night shift. Harris believes in the value to train beyond what is required by the agency and beyond the minimum standards set by the State of Georgia.
In early May of 2017, one of his new officers (just four weeks out of the Field Training Officer course) responded to a domestic disturbance call. The officer was confronted with an aggressive and disturbed citizen that had a shotgun pointed at the officer. The officer took cover behind his patrol car while sheltering the suspect’s wife and son. Harris arrived on scene and immediately assessed the situation. Upon seeing the danger the man was posing to his family and the officer, Harris attempted to verbally challenge the suspect in hopes of discouraging any further aggression. Instead, the suspect fired the shotgun in the direction of the officers.
Harris maintained his composure and a clear sight picture while under duress and fired one round from his patrol rifle, immediately stopping the threat. His ability to remain focused on the mission was invaluable to the protection of innocent lives. His actions earned him the Department’s Citation of Valor.