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Meet the new commander

  • Published
  • By Thunderbolt staff report
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing
Col. Brian N. Smith assumed command of the 6th Operations Group May 14. He took time out of his day to introduce himself to the MacDill Air Force Base community and answered a few questions from the Thunderbolt:

Thunderbolt: What do you expect of the Airmen under your command?
Smith: I expect the team to take care of the mission, take care of each other, and tell me what I can do to help them accomplish both of those priorities. Additionally, I expect my Airmen to continue to set and complete both personal and professional goals while helping their subordinates and peers do the same.

Thunderbolt: Who are your favorite leaders and role models and why?
Smith: I have too many to list them all, but I am fortunate to call my father my greatest role model. He was an orphan as a child, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and then served the U.S. Postal Service for almost 40 years. Through his life model I learned the value of consistent, loyal and dedicated service for something bigger than oneself.

Thunderbolt: What does it mean to you to be the new commander?
Smith: I am excited and humbled at the same time. I'm excited about the opportunity to lead and work with such great Airmen and their amazing families. I'm humbled by the outpouring of support which I intend to give right back to those same Airmen and their families.

Thunderbolt: When you hold your first commander's call, what is the first thing you are going to tell your Airmen?
Smith: Communicate, communicate, communicate: Life is all about communication. Correct what is wrong: I will often intuitively know if something is not right and will do everything I can to correct it. Listen: I will always be ready and willing to listen to things which I don't know already. Try: I will never know everything I can do to help, but that won't stop me from trying.

Thunderbolt: What are your thoughts about MacDill and living in Tampa?
Smith: My family and I are no strangers to Tampa and the area, having called this part of Florida home for many years. Everyone talks about how great the weather is and the beaches and the atmosphere, but it is the people, our families, our friends and our neighbors that make this home.