Air Force

November 22, 2013

This Week in History

Courtesy photo
Luke Air Force Base students use old-style furniture on a tile floor prior to changes implemented by Gen. Wilbur Creech to improve the workplace for Airmen.

1953: Creech joins Thunderbirds at Luke

A Luke Air force Base captain joined the Thunderbird Aerial Demonstration Team at Luke more than 60 years ago this month.

Before joining the team, Capt. Wilbur Creech was a flight commander and taught advanced gunnery. Obviously, he had something special to be selected for the team in its second season, but who knew he would change the Air Force.

Earning his wings and commission through a flying training school in 1949, his first operational assignment was on Okinawa, Japan. When the Korean War began, he went with his unit to Kimpo Air Base, Korea, and flew 103 combat missions over North Korea. He then served a tour as a ground forward air controller with the Army.

In July 1951, he came to Luke and flew in 125 shows with the Thunderbirds. In January 1956, he took command of the Skyblazers, the U.S. Air Forces Europe Aerial Demonstration Team. Over the next four years he flew in 399 shows.

In the early ‘60s, Creech served two years as the Fighter Weapons School director of operations. He then spent three years as the executive officer and aide to the Tactical Air Command commander.

In November 1968, Creech joined the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing at Phu Cat AB, Republic of Vietnam. In six months as the deputy commander for operations, he flew 177 combat missions. Seventh Air Force, headquartered in Saigon, selected him to be the deputy chief of staff for operations.

After Vietnam, he commanded two wings in USAFE before becoming the command’s deputy chief of staff for operations and intelligence. In 1974, he took command of the Electronic Systems Division. In 1977, he moved to Headquarters Air Force, where he was triple-hatted with jobs dealing with readiness, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the United Nations.

He took command of TAC on May 1, 1978, and a number of factors helped him improve conditions within the command. Those included the continuing production of the A-10, F 15 and F-16 aircraft, as well as the implementation of the production oriented maintenance organization. Even with the all-volunteer force, there were still plenty of Airmen who had joined the Air Force so they would not be drafted into the Army.

How did Creech change the U.S. Air Force in his six-plus years in command? He believed if people had a nice place to work, they would be more productive. Previously, there was no standard paint scheme for buildings, inside or out. He came up with a two-tone paint scheme light tan and a dark brown shade that became known as Creech Brown. Building signs were standardized for shape, size, layout and color scheme. Everything got painted.

The insides of buildings received even more improvements. Dark dingy work areas became brightly lit. Grey metal desks and chairs with fake leather were replaced with desks that looked like wood and fabric chairs. One of the major changes was carpet. Previously, almost all work areas had linoleum tile flooring or just concrete. Every base opened self-help stores where the squadrons could buy materials to renovate their spaces. Cleanliness and care for the remodeled facilities was highly stressed.

While there have been many steps and improvements since then, those who lived through the transformation know that General Creech was right about his people.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

CLEP speeds off-duty education

Education is important in order to succeed in life, especially for military members, and going to school while being in the military can cause additional stress for any Airmen looking to obtain a degree. There is help with the College-Level Examination Program, or CLEP, that can help to alleviate some of that stress. The CLEP...
 
 

Air Force News – December 19, 2014

Hawaii U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army members from the 613th Air Operations Center collaborated with members from the Japan Air Self Defense Force Dec. 8 through 13 on exercise Yama Sakura 67, the largest U.S. Army annual bilateral exercise in Asia-Pacific region. Washington D.C. About 40 living World War II members, their relatives, and...
 
 

People First – December 19, 2014

Officials announce no FY15 force management Air Force officials announced there is no longer a need to conduct involuntary force management programs for fiscal year 2015 following a year of significant reductions designed to meet the Defense Department strategic and budgetary guidance. Officials confirmed that fiscal year 2014 goals were achieved to size and shape...
 

 
Senior Airman 
GRACE LEE

Latest F-35 has fastest induction to ALIS

Senior AirmanGRACE LEE The 14th F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter to arrive at Luke Air Force Base is shown Dec. 5 on the flightline. Airmen at the 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit worked quickly to get the aircraft ready to...
 
 

New tool to safeguard PII

The Digital Signature Enforcement tool integrated Air Force-wide Dec. 5, providing Microsoft Outlook users with automated assistance to ensure security of personally identifiable information. DSET is a short-term fix to help Air Force network users protect PII included in emails. “There isn’t any new PII change,” said Maj. Raymond Chester, 56th Communications Squadron commander. “The...
 
 

Air Force News – December 12, 2014

Texas Twenty-nine officers from various Air Force career fields have been selected for Air Education and Training Command training and recruiting squadron command, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced Dec. 5. Colorado As the Air Force continues to upgrade its most recognizable space constellation in Schriever Air Force Base, a small team is busy testing...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin