With dozens of family, friends and colleagues in attendance, Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Brown retired from military service during a ceremony at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base here Dec. 7, concluding 38 years of service. Presiding over the ceremony was Lt. Col. Randall Hood, commander of the 123rd Operations Support Squadron and a close friend of Brown’s. “Jeff is a man of faith, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a friend, a mentor and a leader,” Hood said. “He is a chief master sergeant in the Kentucky Air National Guard and the United States Air Force. He embodies our core values and all those associated with being a chief. He believes in service, being the best at what you do and being prepared for the future. “Chief Brown has been part of the lives of so many of us,” he continued. “His departure is the end of an era — the last of the originals.” Brown enlisted in the Kentucky Air National Guard in 1981 and was assigned to the Photo Processing and Interpretation Facility at the 123rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing. From there, he transferred to active duty at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas. By December of 1986, Brown had transferred back to the Kentucky Air Guard just in time for the wing’s conversion from aerial reconnaissance and RF-4C Phantom II aircraft to airlift and the C-130 Hercules. Brown was selected to be among the wing’s initial cadre of loadmasters, and he soon departed for initial qualification training in 1988.
After qualification, Brown was hired into the Air Reserve Technician program as the aerial delivery superintendent, where he was responsible for maintaining and rigging all training platforms in support of the aerial delivery mission for the 165th Airlift Squadron. He then went on to serve in numerous other roles, including instructor, evaluator, tactics loadmaster and scheduler, while continuously supporting National Guard Bureau airlift missions, exercises, deployments and local training sorties.
During his career, Brown held a variety of operational and support assignments. He has deployed in support of multiple contingencies, exercises and related missions to include Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Restore Hope and Provide Promise.
“I was lucky enough to be in this unit in the nineties,” Brown told the audience. “We had 12 brand-new airplanes, and we flew them all over the world. Participating in places like Somalia, Rwanda and Bosnia were some of the most rewarding flights I’ve ever been on.”
In 1999, Brown moved to the 123rd Operations Group as a senior flight examiner, where he was responsible for ensuring that C-130 flying standards were maintained and administering flight evaluations to unit-assigned loadmasters. Brown would lead the group through multiple Air Mobility Command standardization evaluation visits, always achieving high ratings for the loadmaster section and group.
In 2008, Brown was selected as the second 165th Airlift Squadron loadmaster superintendent. Under his leadership, the loadmaster section completed six major deployments in support of U.S. Central Command and numerous other deployments, exercises and contingencies. During this same period, Brown served on the Career Enlisted Aviator Council as the loadmaster representative, providing assistance and management advice to the National Guard Bureau.
Serving as a loadmaster instructor and evaluator, Brown finished his career with more than 7,500 total flight hours.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with high-quality people who are extraordinary in their jobs, and caring for people,” Brown said. “I will never forget the life-long friendships rooted here in my Guard family.”