NEW CASTLE, Del. – Citizen-Airmen with the Delaware National Guard's 166th Airlift Wing enjoyed an incentive flight on a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter Oct. 21 as a reward for their hard work and contributions to the Wing.
All five Airmen earned their ride after being selected as the wing-level award winners for their respective roles on base.
"The incentive flight [program] is an opportunity to increase and improve morale for Airmen who have been recognized as wing quarterly and annual award winners," said Chief Master Sgt. Robbin Moore, 166th AW command chief. "These members are recognized for leadership, job performance, self-improvement and base and community involvement."
The Airmen flew down Delaware's eastern shoreline, from New Castle to the Cape Henlopen State Park and back.
"I wasn't expecting to get this Black Hawk ride, so it was a pleasant surprise," said Staff Sgt. Jonathan Nagyiski, 166th Civil Engineer Squadron structural journeyman. "You work all year [without] the intention of getting anything, and to get rewarded feels really good."
Moore says she has made a concerted effort to uplift Airmen since taking over as wing command chief in July.
"She encourages everyone to talk. She tries to break the barrier between leadership and the junior enlisted," said Senior Airman Hermina Straka, 166th AW commander support staff member. "She is someone who will guide you to a solution, someone you can trust to be honest no matter the circumstance, and she will be there for you regardless of how many stripes you have."
Moore says she's added monthly "chat and chew" sessions for members to encourage conversation with their leadership. Moore has also added recognized enlisted promotions that come with a personal letter from Moore and many other improvements to increase base morale.
"I have always felt it was extremely important to not only know Airmen but also crucial to be able to relate to Airmen," said Moore. "After 26 years, I have had all kinds of experiences. These experiences have helped in shaping me to be the leader, mentor and wingman that I am today."
Moore said she's made a concerted effort to connect with Airmen individually; one of the most recent examples of this came on Straka's birthday.
"On my birthday, she made me a dish from my home country Romania," said Straka. "She's done something for me I will remember for the rest of my life. That's what you call a leader, that's what you call embracing diversity."
Moore plans to establish sergeant induction ceremonies and create opportunities for Airmen to support a schedule for morale events during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. All of these opportunities share the goal of increasing and promoting esprit de corps.
"It is my duty to share because 'to whom much is given, much is required,'" Moore said. "So, therefore, it is my responsibility and honor to connect with Airmen."