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Passion, Pride and Purpose

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Kyle White, the 307th Maintenance Squadron munitions flight production section chief, stands in front of BDU-33 practice bombs at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, April 3, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Kyle White, the 307th Maintenance Squadron munitions flight production section chief, stands in front of BDU-33 practice bombs at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, April 3, 2018. White is the recipient of the Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez award for maintenance Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Maxwell Daigle)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --

            From the tender age of five, Senior Master Sgt. Kyle White, the munitions flight production section chief of the 307th Maintenance Squadron, knew he wanted to be a bomb loader.

            In kindergarten, he made a toy airplane and attached two, live .22 caliber rifle bullets underneath the wings.  The next day, he threw his creation in class, hitting his teacher’s leg.

 “This was back in the day when teachers used to keep a wooden paddle in their classroom,” said White. “And that’s exactly what I got when she saw the rounds underneath the wings.”

            White laughs at the story now, but the desire he had for the job then still shows today. His personal achievements and the accomplishments of his unit made possible by his efforts won him the 2018 Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez award. The Air Force Reserve Command honor is given to aircraft, munitions, and missile maintenance Airmen in different categories. White won in the category of munition/maintenance supervisor manager.

            His current position was 28 years in the making.  Before he became a munitions supervisor, White worked in almost every section possible within munitions. He has held multiple supervisory positions in the past, including the first ever munitions accountability systems officer for his unit. In that role, he was in charge of keeping the munitions depot inventory accurate and ready.

            “When it comes to our accounts, we have to track everything from cradle to grave to ensure that all our munitions are operational ,” said Chief Master Sgt. Philip Weber, the munitions flight superintendent for the 307th Maintenance Squadron. “He saved us hundreds of thousands of dollar when he was in charge of our inventory because he was always aware of the inspections and maintenance that needed to be done.”   

            White’s experience led up to a role as the leader of his unit’s munitions and equipment production as well as the right-hand man to Weber.

            “He is hands down my go-to guy for everything I need” said Weber. “I trust him completely on everything because he understands as well as I do about what it takes to make our munitions depot the best it can be, and nobody wants our munitions depot to be the best it can be as much as him.”

            As part of White’s mission to make his unit all it can be, he takes a large role in taking care of the Airmen in his unit. As the Unit Health Manager for his squadron, he monitors the physical readiness for over 330 Airmen. He also charges himself with monitoring his deployed Airmen.

            “We sent some troops to Afghanistan last year,” said Weber. “While they were gone, he was their wingman back home. He always stayed in contact with them and their family, and he worked with them to fix any problems they faced or get anything they needed.”

            From his duties as a supervisor to his technical responsibilities, White’s efforts as a bomb loader and supervisor show the same energy he had as a five year old boy strapping bullets on a toy airplane.

            “I take pride in what I do and try to help everyone who needs it,” he said. “I just really love my job.”