Meridian, Miss. Numerous family members and friends gathered inside the Corrosion Control Hanger at Key Field to witness Chief Master Sergeant Charles W. Smith assume the responsibility of Wing Command Chief Master Sergeant. The position is the highest enlisted grade on the base and according to Presiding Officer Colonel Mike Nabors, Smith's leadership, mentorship, and experience will do well for Key Field.
"His experience, his leadership, his integrity, is beyond question on this wing," said Colonel Nabors. "As I mentioned in my speech we get flight evaluations and check rides and he's had 8 out of the last 12 of his flight evaluations have outstanding performances. That's a testament in one area to his excellence."
An excellence that not only brought Smith this new position, but an honor that he feels blessed to have.
"Man it's a thrill, I feel humbled and honored. I have been with this unit for a little over 35 years," said Smith. "We've got a great group of people here and we've deployed all over the world together."
It's the roads that Smith has traveled in life that have prepared him for the new position.
"In not only experience, but the mentoring and what I've learned from the past Wing Command Chiefs, past commanders, and just working with the members of the unit," said Smith.
Colonel Nabors believes the future of key field continues to stay ahead.
"I've never worked with a finer group of people," said Nabors. "Chief Smith is going to lead that enlisted force now into the future. We have a great and bright future here at Meridian and in partnership with our community, we're looking forward to the future."