Herk Nation welcomes AMC first sergeant

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Sarah Ortega Corona
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Chief Master Sgt. Trapper Otto, command first sergeant of Air Mobility Command, visited the Home of Herk Nation at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Dec. 3-5, 2023. 

During the visit, Otto had the opportunity to meet with first sergeants from multiple units across the base while gaining insight about the mission and how Team Little Rock supports the largest C-130 fleet in the world. 

Along with the first sergeants, Otto met with Airmen from several squadrons who showcased their capabilities and highlighted the importance of embracing innovation and technology.  

The visit kicked off with a tour of the 19th Maintenance Group and a demonstration of their virtual reality maintenance training program which displayed how students can now learn in a “hands-on” format without the need of an actual aircraft. This program provides an improved educational experience and ensures maximum resources are available for aircrew members who depend on the same aircraft for training. 

“This is a way to train our warfighting Airmen in ways that we have only dreamed of in the past,” said Staff Sgt. Terrell Chester, 19th MXG virtual reality custodian. “We’re taking the technology that we have now and using it to our advantage to make us better, not only for our adversaries downrange, but also for our everyday life.” 

Otto also had the opportunity to visit the HERKWERX Innovation Lab, where Airman 1st Class Cheikh Ndiaye, 19th Maintenance Squadron C-130 crew chief and wing innovator, shared his roles and experiences with the inner workings of the lab. 

HERKWERX is the 19th Airlift Wing’s innovation hub, which serves as a space for Airmen to come together, share new ideas, create new technologies that advance the mission to project TacAir Anywhere. 

“Chief Otto emphasized that innovation stands as a paramount priority, echoing down from Headquarters through AMC and resonating with each one of us,” said Ndiaye. “The first shirt expressed genuine appreciation for my briefing, finding it motivational and highlighting the significance of contributions from young Airmen like myself.” 

The tour continued to the Warrior Airman Readiness Center, where Otto met with WAR Center leadership who work to develop realistic training scenarios aimed at better preparing Airmen for the future fight. 

“The goal of the WAR Center is to get Airmen used to thinking under pressure and still being able to make informed decisions in the heat of battle,” said Tech. Sgt. Daniel Griffin, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron NCO in charge of requirements. “It streamlines and increases efficiency for all squadrons on base as we prepare folks to move out the door for their deployments and, moreover, prepare Airmen at all levels for what that future fight may look like.” 

Throughout the tour, Team Little Rock was able to showcase how we develop, manage, and sustain Airmen with strong tactical and technical competency, a warfighting spirit, a high-level of discipline, innovative mindsets and a driven bias toward action. 

“My hope is for the first sergeant's to see what they can change in their career fields to better support and give back to their Airmen,” Otto said. “Resiliency is big in my books, and we can advocate for first sergeants to have more avenues to help Airmen. Even just helping one Airman is more than enough.”