140th CES has Buckley's Warrior of the Week
By 460th Space Wing Public Affairs, 140th Civil Engineer Squadron
/ Published October 02, 2009
Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. -- Tech. Sgt. Richard F. Gibbons, 140th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal craftsman, is Team Buckley's Warrior of the Week for Oct 5.
Sergeant Gibbons is from Denver, Colo. and has served in the Air Force for 7 years. His hobbies include football, hiking, reading, weightlifting and leisure biking.
What is the combat capability that this person exemplified to earn the title, "Warrior of the Week?"
"Sergeant Gibbons has shown the leadership and abilities required and wanted by all members of the military in a combat stressed environment. His actions were and are the substance that books are written about and movies are made of. His actions directly saved American and coalition lives. He is not one of those people who simply supported war fighters, but was a war fighter himself. Not accomplishing this task every now and then but on a daily basis, taking the fight to the enemy on his terms and in the enemy's home. Almost any man can be sustained in combat, and many are exceptional followers, but this man is an outstanding leader of men in the highly stressful combat environment." said Master Sgt. Phil Hartzell, 755th NCO in charge Bagram EOD.
How do your day-to-day duties impact the Air Force mission?
EOD takes the fight to the enemy. By securing and clearing the roads and villages of improvised explosive devices and unexploded ordnance, other combat units have the freedom of movement to engage the enemy and protect the local community.
Why do you serve?
I serve for my EOD brothers. They are the best men and women America has to offer, I am proud to be accepted among their ranks. We have a very difficult job, but our job is defensive. I enjoy the fact that I am here to keep my brothers and sisters safe. We are fully capable of protecting ourselves, and have needed those skills from time to time, but my main function is the safety of coalition forces as well as local life.
What has been your most memorable experience in the Air Force?
A few weeks ago I was down range in a bomb suit working an IED. While working I heard a horn blast from my team truck a few hundred meters behind me. Confused I looked around and came face to face with an Afghani child. He looked terrified of me in my bulky scary suit. Knowing the grave danger of that area I had no choice but attempt to further scare the child away. Raising the tools I had in my hands I started jumping up and down and screaming! The kid was suddenly jolted out of his staring trance and bolted away as fast as he could. Frazzled, I turned back to my work and disarmed the IED. I will forever remember the Afghani child that in order to protect, I had to scare.
What is your most memorable personal accomplishment?
My return to college has been a very large hurdle for me. I attempted a few semesters before entering the military and failed. I was very nervous to reattempt college. My wife, Jamie, knowing me in and out, knew that I needed to prove to myself that I could do it. After some convincing from Jamie I returned, kicking and screaming. Turns out I love it. I credit Jamie with my new found love of education. I am currently only a few credits from my associates and have a goal of obtaining my Engineering Degree in a few years. Thank you Jamie, I love you with all my heart!
Where would you like to be in 10 years? What will you be doing?
As for 10 years from now, I honestly have no clue. But I hope to still be associated with the Colorado Air Guard, have an Engineering Degree, and have a little mini-me to take to school.