Former WR-ALC vice commander to command wing at Kirtland

  • Published
  • By Jenny Gordon
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Col. John Kubinec, Warner Robins Air Logistics Center vice commander, will assume command of the 377th Air Base Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico Dec. 19.

His last day at Robins was Dec. 7.

Kubinec's family moved to Middle Georgia in July 2011; his previous assignment was to Al-Udeid, Qatar. Prior to leaving Robins, the Air Force Academy graduate reflected on his brief, yet memorable time here.

He emphasized the base has much to be thankful for with its one-of-a-kind community support that rivals any other he has seen in his career. The quality of the Robins workforce and the strong community support are the two biggest impressions he will leave with as he makes his way west.

"It has been a pleasure for me to get to know some of the leaders in the community and understand the challenges they have, and to also see how much they support this base," said Kubinec.

On the workforce, he added, "As leadership here, we owe it to them to give the resources and tools they need and the environment they need to do the job. The people here do that day in and day out to support our warfighter."

Kubinec's stint here was the second opportunity he had to work with Maj. Gen. Robert McMahon. Through the commander, Kubinec stressed the biggest takeaway he would have was re-learning the lesson of servant leadership.

"It's all about enabling the workforce to do the mission. It's never about the leader," he said.

Another important area was horizontal integration, and the role each person plays in another's successes. He emphasized the incredible amount of work it took to begin fiscal 2012 with zero late aircraft, compared to the 26 at the start of fiscal 2011.

"The performance improvements we've made are the greatest single testament to horizontal integration," he said. "Everyone is focused on making each other successful. When you have an organization that's like that - there's no limit to how good you can be."

Kubinec said he was also proud to see the collaborative approach being made to change the culture of occupational safety and health, and taking part in the Center's continuous process improvement.

"We've been able to establish an organic capability to train our workforce on Lean concepts and fundamentals - that's very important for us to do to sustain CPI. That will pay dividends down the road," he said.

With recent restructure announcements, a near-term challenge would be ensuring success in each organization, and through future transition, not losing any gains that have been made.

On that point, he remarked he was proud of the way those announcements were handled, and particularly the work done beforehand to help shape how to address concerns.

"We spent a lot of time working on our plan for the announcement," he said. "I think we did it right in making sure everyone understood that leadership was concerned and involved in every aspect of it."

Kubinec shared that his next assignment happened more quickly than expected, but he's looking forward to the challenge of working with the 377th's more than 100 mission partners.

"I am much better prepared to walk into this job having spent six months here than I would have been before. I'm very grateful for that," he said. "There's no higher honor in our military than to have the title of commander, and to have responsibility for America's finest young men and women."