Robins Airlift Tankers Association works to stay viable despite unit departures
By Amanda Creel, 78 ABW/PA
/ Published February 29, 2008
Robins Air Force Base, Ga. --
The Airlift/Tanker Association Team Robins chapter is working hard to ensure that no matter what the future holds, the association is positioned to serve the base community for years to come.
The ATA has faced a challenge in recent months as many members of the association prepare to depart Robins in June when the 19th Air Refueling Group deactivates.
Maj. Michael King, the Team Robins chapter president, said he has tried to use his time as president to ensure the group's future by encouraging other members of the Robins community to join.
"The Airlift/Tanker organization simply is focused on ensuring that air mobility forces are available to the Department of Defense leaders," said Richard "Buck" Marr, national ATA senior vice president.
Air mobility is central to many of the missions at Robins, such as the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center's role in maintaining aircraft and equipment, said Mr. Marr, who retired as a major general from the Air Force.
"It's not all about airplane drivers and airplane maintainers," Mr. Marr said. "It's about all the people that provide that capability."
He said members of the Robins community from numerous specialties such as security forces, communications, logistics and civilian personnel are important to the mobility mission and could reap rewards by being involved in the local chapter.
"Membership is open to everyone," Mr. Marr added.
Maj. King said though members of the 19th ARG are an important aspect of the association, other units throughout the base are just as important to the ATA's success.
He added anyone interested in the future of air mobility should join the association.
The group holds quarterly meetings, where it invites community and military leaders to share their experiences and knowledge with association members.
"It is a great opportunity for professional development and leadership experience," Major King said.
The Team Robins ATA also offers opportunities for community service, such as an annual golf tournament.
"We encourage our chapters to get together routinely as a chapter and support their installation and their community," Mr. Marr said.
Major King said the ATA also offers the opportunity to network on a local and national level by participating in events such as the annual ATA national convention. During the convention, about 4,000 representatives from 39 chapters gather to learn more about the mobility mission.
Not only does Major King seek new members for the association, he also encourages former members to return and "reinvest in the organization."