Tech. Sgt. Erik Kunkle, 460th LRS
/ Published December 15, 2008
TEAM BUCKLEY WARRIOR OF THE WEEK -- Tech. Sgt. Erik Kunkle, of the 460th Logistics Readiness Squadron is Team Buckley's Warrior of the Week for Dec. 12 - 18.
Sergeant Kunkle has served in the Air Force for 16 years and is the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of Logistics Plans. He calls Pomaria, Latin for fruit, S.C. home.
In his free-time, Sergeant Kunkle enjoys grilling, playing Star Wars with his son, watching college football, reading and tinkering around his house.
What is the combat capability that this person exemplified to earn the title, "Warrior of the Week?"
"Erik's day-to-day duties ensure deploying Buckley warriors meet all training movement requirement dates on time and that they arrive in the area of responsibility on or before their required in-place date," said Lt. Col. Edward Madsen, 460th LRS Commander." His dedication to this process is evident by Buckley's Aerospace Expeditionary Force discrepancy rate being the lowest in Air Force Space Command.
How do your day-to-day duties impact the Air Force mission?
As logistics planners, we are the behind-the-scenes planners ensuring the 460th Space Wing and tenants are prepared to support contingency operations or exercises anywhere, anytime. We ensure deploying Airmen leave from the correct locations on the correct days in order to do their job for the combatant commander on the day they want them.
Whether it's for the Global War on Terror or some other operation, what it all boils down to is providing combatant commanders skilled expeditionary Airmen warriors as efficiently as possible, on time, anywhere.
If you could change one thing about the Air Force what would it be?
I'd replace Air Force Instructions with Air Force Regulations and task the organizations that published them to coordinate with others to ensure one AFR didn't contradict another.
Why do you serve?
It sounds cliché, but I love my country. I'm a part of something bigger than me and surrounded with high quality moral people who give of themselves for the greater good -- America.
Plus I'm continuing a proud family legacy: my great granddaddy was in World War I: my granddaddy was in World War II; and my daddy served 36 full-time years with the South Carolina Army National Guard. When I set out to enlist, I recruited the Air Force; I didn't give them a chance to recruit me.
What has been your most memorable experience in the Air Force?
Every time I get off the airplane and my wife is standing there waiting for me. The last time was the best because I also had my son waiting on me -- it was his first deployment. The look on his face, his little feet ran so fast to greet me they ran out from under him. He kind of skipped off the floor and up into my arms.
What is your most memorable personal accomplishment?
I married my best friend and we have a wonderful son.
If you were not in the military, where would you be? Why?
I would probably hold some sort of degree in history, managing a museum or historical site. A comprehension of the past helps you understand the present and plot a better future.
Where would you like to be in 10 years? What will you be doing?
In 10 years I'd like to still be in the Air Force, either on a major command inspector general team or at a war-fighting headquarters.
During my recent deployment to Iraq, I received an Air Force Commendation Medal signed by Lt. Gen. Gary North, Commander of 9th Air Force and U.S. Air Forces Central, for the movement of over 18,000 personnel and 38,000 tons of cargo on 5,200 airlift missions.