U.S. NAVAL AIR STATION JOINT RESERVE BASE FORT WORTH, Texas --
With six squadrons and five civilian departments consisting of more than 650 Reserve, Active Guard Reserve (AGR), and civilian personnel, the 301st Fighter Wing Mission Support Group (MSG) has the wing’s most dynamic mission set. One Airman, Chief Master Sgt. Richard Walker, 301 FW MSG superintendent plays a vital role to the missions success.
Born in San Antonio and raised in Jourdanton, Texas, Walker started his military career as an Active Duty crew chief for more than 8 years right after high school. He has also served as an Air Reserve Technician and a Traditional Reservist within the past 13 years. He joined the military to inspire people just like his family inspired him.
“I wanted to get out and see the world and both of my grandfathers served in the military,” he said. “My mother’s father, in particular, a Marine, would tell me stories of when he served, and they always stuck with me.”
Walker has some stories of his own to tell. He has been with MSG for more than a year but previously served the 301 FW Maintenance Squadron in 2014.
“I always look for things which will help me develop and grow as a leader. When this opportunity arose I was immediately drawn to it,” said Walker. “Being from a maintenance background, I was excited to learn about the MSG and its impact on the wing’s mission.”
The MSG consists of DoD police, bioenvironmental, civilian personnel, base civil engineering/contracting, force support squadron, civil engineering squadron, 73d Aerial Port Squadron, communications squadron, security forces squadron and the logistic readiness squadron. Walker saw the impact firsthand.
“All these MSG Airmen put in tireless hours behind the scenes,” said Walker. “Every squadron’s mission is so different from the other but everyone’s drive is the same. They consistently get the job done, especially now with the hardships of COVID.”
In the face of adversity, these Airmen work together as a team to accomplish their goals.
“Our motto at the MSG is ‘There is no ME in MSG’ and it is so true, we are a team,” said Walker. “While every squadron has their own unique capabilities and responsibilities to the mission, it’s together that we accomplish it.”
With so many units combining to achieve success, Walker shares words of advice to the individual Airman.
“Be engaged. Be involved. The military is what you make of it, so make it something you’re excited and proud to be a part of,” he said. “Find a mentor or someone who you can learn from and pick their brain. Ask questions! Find more than one! It can be someone in your section or even someone stationed at another base.”
Walker also had words of advice which helped him as a supervisor.
“I love meeting Airmen and learning about their jobs and what motivates them,” he said. “I fully believe that connecting with your Airman strengthens the unit and understanding them makes you a better leader for them.”