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News > Crabtree leaves wing to command personnel center
 
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General Crabtree leaves McChord for personnel center command
Brig. Gen. Eric W. Crabtree, 446th Airlift Wing, will leave his command of the Reserve wing at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., for command of the Air Force Reserve Personnel Center in Denver, Colo., this fall. (U.S. Air Force photo/Sandra Pishner)
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Crabtree leaves wing to command personnel center

Posted 5/20/2007   Updated 5/23/2007 Email story   Print story

    


by Sandra Pishner
446th Airlift Wing


5/20/2007 - MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash.  -- Leading a busy C-17 wing of about 2,400 may seem like a walk in the park compared to his next assignment. Brig. Gen. Eric Crabtree, 446th Airlift Wing commander, will take command of the Air Reserve Personnel Center, Denver, Colo., sometime this fall. 

Serving at McChord since August 2003, General Crabtree will hand over command of the wing to Col. William Flanigan. Colonel Flanigan is currently the commander of the 939th Air Refueling Wing, Portland International Airport, Ore. He has served for more than 30 years, active and Reserve, flying both the KC-135 and KC-10. 

In his new position, General Crabtree will oversee a mission of providing personnel and administrative support to more than 1.2 million Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard forces. 

"General (John) Bradley (commander of Air Force Reserve Command) asked if I'd considering taking on this position. He wanted a general officer in command because of the importance of providing personnel support to our Reserve and Guard Airmen. And, that importance is reflected on the active duty side where they have a general officer in charge," said General Crabtree. "We should be on par with the active duty because of the scope of the job, particularly with today's increased reliance on Reserve and Guard Airmen." 

Providing personnel support these days often comes via a Web site, such as the virtual Military Personnel Flight, or vMPF. But keeping it real for the customer is vital. 

"While the position traditionally has been held be someone from the personnel career field, General Bradley wanted someone from the user end to help channel our focus even more to the customers," said the general. "It will be a challenge. We'll need to figure out how to implement automation of personnel actions while remaining responsive to people in the field." 

As General Crabtree's focus shifts from the operations world to the support world, he marvels at the tremendous contributions Airmen from the 446th Airlift Wing have made to the post-911 world. 

"Every where I go in the active-duty world, I find people who are just floored by the flood of Reserve volunteers supporting the high C-17 operations tempo. The number of people we have in the system and on orders is unprecedented, and something of which we can be proud," said General Crabtree. 

"I know I am proud to have been in charge of a wing that has done so much," the general added.. "For Air Mobility Command, which we support, the war starts six months before the first bullet ever flies, and will go on a year or more after the last shot as we move people and equipment in and out of an AOR (area of responsibility)." 

One less operator supporting the C-17 operations tempo will be the general. His new position is not coded as a flying position. However, the thrill of piloting a C-17 Globemaster will be replaced with the thrill of discovering all Colorado has to offer. 

"Colorado offers a lot of interesting outdoor activities. And, I have acquaintances from the past who now live in the area, so it will be nice to renew friendships. But, I will also miss all the hardworking, dedicated Airmen from the 446th Airlift Wing. I hope to maintain all the friendships I've made here."



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