Tinker Talks: Leading through a pandemic

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  • 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

On this episode of Tinker Talks we sit down with four senior leaders to talk about leading through a pandemic, specifically COVID-19.

Air Force Sustainment Center Commander Lt. Gen. Gene Kirkland, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex Commander Brig. Gen. Chris Hill, 448th Supply Chain Management Wing Director Dennis D’Angelo and 72nd Air Base Wing and Installation Commander Col. Paul Filcek share their thoughts, processes and conversations early in the pandemic and how the leadership team at Tinker has worked through the difficult task of balancing safety of the workforce while continuing our national defense mission.

Several Air Force and Pentagon senior leaders have come to Tinker recently to get a first-hand look at how the complex and other units have adapted quickly and managed to prioritize safety while meeting mission requirements. The senior leaders in this episode talk about preparations early in the pandemic, and the critical communication across organizations up and down the chain of command as they prepared for the unknown.

As the AFSC commander, Kirkland is responsible for sustainment operations at Tinker, Hill, Robins and Scott Air Force Bases as well as several geographically separated units around the globe. All in all there are more than 40,000 Airmen under his command.

Hill, the OC-ALC commander, oversees operations at the largest depot maintenance facility in the Air Force. He is responsible for about 10,000 personnel. The Air Force has warfighters downrange carrying out missions every day and count on the ALC team to continue delivering assets to them.

D’Angelo leads a team of more than 3,000 members and is responsible for supply chain operations at several bases and deals with all branches of the service. Keeping the supply chain moving is critical to the complex so that there is little to no disruption to depot operations.

As the 72nd ABW commander, Filcek is responsible for all the support functions and services on the base. He is also the decision maker on changes to Health Protection Conditions and what support services remain open, closed or change in operations. Changes or disruptions to support and service functions has an impact on all 30,000 plus active duty, reserve, civilian and contractors who work at Tinker. It also affects veterans and their family members who count on Tinker for services such as commissary and base exchange.

Enjoy this episode as these senior leaders open up and share their thoughts and decisions as they lead us through a pandemic.

Until next time stay safe, stay healthy, treat each other with respect and have a great day and better week.