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Former chief master sergeant of the Air Force visits Holloman

Lt. Col. Duncan Dversdall,  846th Test Squadron commander, discusses the semantics of the Speed Test Track equipment to Retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Robert Gaylor and his wife, Selma, and Lt. Col Allan Elledge, 46th Test Group deputy commander. Chief Gaylor is the guest Speaker for the 46 TG Annual Awards Ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Lakisha Croley)

Lt. Col. Duncan Dversdall, 846th Test Squadron commander, discusses the semantics of the Speed Test Track equipment to Retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Robert Gaylor and his wife, Selma, and Lt. Col Allan Elledge, 46th Test Group deputy commander. Chief Gaylor is the guest Speaker for the 46 TG Annual Awards Ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Lakisha Croley)

Retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Robert Gaylor speaks with the enlisted corps of the 46th Test Group, during a luncheon held in his honor at the enlisted club. Chief Gaylor, who was accompanied by his wife Selma, is the guest speaker for the 46 TG Annual Awards Ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Lakisha Croley)

Retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Robert Gaylor speaks with the enlisted corps of the 46th Test Group, during a luncheon held in his honor at the enlisted club. Chief Gaylor, who was accompanied by his wife Selma, is the guest speaker for the 46 TG Annual Awards Ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Lakisha Croley)

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Former Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Robert Gaylor and his wife, Ms. Selma Gaylor, arrived at Holloman Thursday afternoon for a three day wing visit and to attend the 46th Test Group Awards Banquet.

Prior to Friday's banquet, the chief and Ms. Gaylor received a top-to-bottom wing tour, visiting the 46 TS, Enlisted Club, 49th Security Forces Squadron, 49th Fighter Wing Headquarters building, the First Term Airmen's Center and other Holloman facilities and work stations..

"We've come a long way since I joined in 1948," he said. "The word 'awesome' is overused now-a-days, but it truly is awesome to see what goes on here."

Ms. Gaylor was equally impressed, noting the dedication and pride evident in the Airmen she met Friday.

Chief Gaylor began his career in 1948 as a security policeman. In 1957, he became a military training instructor at Lackland AFB, Texas, before returning to his SP roots in 1965. Chief Gaylor was selected as senior enlisted advisor for Second Air Force in 1970 and served in that position until 1973, when he was selected as the fifth Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force. The chief retired in 1979.

Contemplating today's fast-paced operations tempo, the chief said Airmen should view deployments as an opportunity.

"Instead of looking upon [deployments] as something you have to do, look upon it as something you get to do," he said. "Take advantage of the opportunity to learn and serve."

Chief Gaylor stressed that today's frontline supervisors must set the example when it comes to sound leadership.

"All Airmen want to do well; the only reason an Airman may not do well is because of ineffective leadership. Supervisors need to provide a work environment where each person can demonstrate and showcase the talent that they have," he said. "We'd be foolish if we didn't allow subordinates to show us what they can do."

According to the chief, the greatest need for sound leadership and managerial skills lies closest to where the actual work is accomplished.

"At that level, you're right there where things are happening, where the rubber meets the road," he said.

Chief Gaylor described his Holloman visit as "mind boggling for someone who is not educated in the current phase of Air Force life."

"It's an honor for someone who has been retired 28 years to come back and see what is happening in our Air Force," he said. "It has been said that there is only one Air Force greater than the Air Force of today and that's the Air Force of tomorrow."

Chief Gaylor and Ms. Gaylor are scheduled to depart Holloman Sunday.