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New command chief brings inspiration to 145th Airlift Wing

U.S. Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Salvatore “Sal” Pecorella, talks with members of the 145th Security Forces Squadron during February’s Unit Training Assembly at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Feb. 6, 2016. Pecorella, who was recently selected as the new command chief for the 145th Airlift Wing, stays in touch by keeping the lines of communication open. Pecorella began his military career when he enlisted in the Air Force in May 1983, now he continues his career by carrying out his duties as a traditional guardsman in the highest enlisted position. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran/Released)

U.S. Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Salvatore “Sal” Pecorella, talks with members of the 145th Security Forces Squadron during February’s Unit Training Assembly at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Feb. 6, 2016. Pecorella, who was recently selected as the new command chief for the 145th Airlift Wing, stays in touch by keeping the lines of communication open. Pecorella began his military career when he enlisted in the Air Force in May 1983, now he continues his career by carrying out his duties as a traditional guardsman in the highest enlisted position. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran/Released)

U.S. Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Salvatore “Sal” Pecorella, talks with Senior Airman Deris Lewis and Airman 1st Class, Caitlin Sunday, members of the 145th Medical Group during February’s Unit Training Assembly at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Feb. 6, 2016. Pecorella, who was recently selected as the new command chief for the 145th Airlift Wing, stays in touch with his Airmen by keeping the lines of communication open. Pecorella began his military career when he enlisted in the Air Force in May 1983, now he continues his career by carrying out his duties as a traditional guardsman in the highest enlisted position. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran/Released)

U.S. Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Salvatore “Sal” Pecorella, talks with Senior Airman Deris Lewis and Airman 1st Class, Caitlin Sunday, members of the 145th Medical Group during February’s Unit Training Assembly at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Feb. 6, 2016. Pecorella, who was recently selected as the new command chief for the 145th Airlift Wing, stays in touch with his Airmen by keeping the lines of communication open. Pecorella began his military career when he enlisted in the Air Force in May 1983, now he continues his career by carrying out his duties as a traditional guardsman in the highest enlisted position. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran/Released)

U.S. Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Salvatore “Sal” Pecorella, talks with Senior Airman Taylor Wheless and Tech. Sgt. Andrew Casasanta, crew chiefs for the 145th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron on the flight deck of a C-130 Hercules aircraft, during February’s Unit Training Assembly at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Feb. 6, 2016. Pecorella, who was recently selected as the new command chief for the 145th Airlift Wing, stays in touch by keeping the lines of communication open. Pecorella began his military career when he enlisted in the Air Force in May 1983, now he continues his career by carrying out his duties as a traditional guardsman in the highest enlisted position. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran/Released)

U.S. Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Salvatore “Sal” Pecorella, talks with Senior Airman Taylor Wheless and Tech. Sgt. Andrew Casasanta, crew chiefs for the 145th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron on the flight deck of a C-130 Hercules aircraft, during February’s Unit Training Assembly at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Feb. 6, 2016. Pecorella, who was recently selected as the new command chief for the 145th Airlift Wing, stays in touch by keeping the lines of communication open. Pecorella began his military career when he enlisted in the Air Force in May 1983, now he continues his career by carrying out his duties as a traditional guardsman in the highest enlisted position. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran/Released)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Members of the North Carolina Air National Guard welcomed Chief Master Sgt. Salvatore "Sal" Pecorella as the new command chief for the 145th Airlift Wing. On the cusp of his 33rd year serving in the Air Force, Chief Pecorella eagerly took on his newly appointed position by getting out and talking to the Airmen, listening to their concerns and being inspired by their visions.

"I don't want to just sit behind my desk. I want to be out there with my Airmen, finding out their thoughts, their ideas, their goals and most importantly, what I can do to help them and our Wing to keep moving forward," said Pecorella.

As command chief, Pecorella brings fresh aspirations to the members of the 145th Airlift Wing.

"Do you realize the Guard was there at our nation's founding? Our Air Guard has been in space, we continue to fight our nation's enemies, contain wild fires and help during epic disasters.
Many times we get caught up in the weeds of our activities and behaviors and forget the reason why we joined to serve," said Pecorella.

"As a traditional guardsman when I wake up in the morning and put on this uniform I am immediately humbled by past accomplishments and sacrifices of the Air Guardsmen that have come before us, and I am also greatly inspired by the vision we have for our future," Pecorella proudly stated.

Pecorella began his military career by enlisting in the Air Force in May 1983. As a para-weatherman assigned at Fort Bragg, North Carolina he was Airborne qualified and was assigned to the Special Operation Weather Team. While serving in the USAF at Fort Bragg, he completed 35 successful parachute jumps and made several deployments in support of the 82nd Airborne. In 1990 he joined the Air National Guard as a Combat Weather Observer at the 106th Search and Rescue Wing. In 1994, after cross training into Disaster Preparedness, he joined the 145th Civil Engineer Squadron. In 2001 Pecorella became the non-commissioned officer in charge of Readiness for Joint Force Headquarters, North Carolina Air National Guard. Immediately following the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 he deployed to Qatar in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and helped build the base at Al Udeid AB. In 2002 he rejoined the 145th Civil Engineer Squadron.

Now Pecorella continues his career carrying out his duties as a traditional guardsman in the Wing's highest enlisted position.

During February's Unit Training Assembly, the wing and neighboring communities watched in admiration as history was made when all nine 145th AW, C-130 Hercules aircraft were launched and recovered from the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Feb. 7, 2016.

"Let's look up or look out and witness the vast strength and capabilities of the Airmen of the 145th Airlift Wing. We witness this historical event and get a taste of why we serve. Let's grab it, hold on to it and let it propel us into the future. If we have laser focus on the wildly important goals, a plan of action and execution on that plan we can accomplish great and extraordinary things," Pecorella stated with pride.