Warrior of the Week: Staff Sgt. Richard White

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  • By Public Affairs
  • Public Affairs
Staff Sgt. Richard White, 71st Communication Squadron air-field systems craftsman, "is the most diversely competent technician I have ever worked with," according to his supervisor, Master Sgt. John Steurer. "There is no task he can't handle."
His expertise probably comes from years of tinkering with electronics before he ever received formal training from the Air Force.
"My dad always told me, when I was a little kid I would play with the radio and other electronics, pull them apart and try to get them to work again," said the Tucson, Ariz., native. "Every time I entered science fairs at school, my projects always included something electronic."
Sergeant White now spends his time taking care of all of the communication systems on the airfield, including the Remote Surveillance Units, the navigational aids and the weather equipment. He recently was met with the challenge of upgrading and maintaining Perry Municipal Airport's communications systems while the runway at Kegelman Auxiliary Airfield is refurbished.
Sergeant White enjoys the problem-solving aspects of his job. He enjoys having to ask the question, "What's going to work here and how are we going to make it work?," he said.
His expertise recently got him hand-picked by Air Education and Training Command Electronic Functional Managers to provide air traffic control radio maintenance manning assistance to Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass., in preparation for their recent Air Traffic Standardization Evaluation Program inspection.
His career goals are to become a master sergeant and then hopefully chief. In his technical profession, he hopes to have the opportunity to work for the Air Force Flights Standard Agency, the executive agency for managing airspace for the U.S. Air Force.
"Working for AFFSA is like the top of our career," said Sergeant White.
He will pin on technical sergeant next year, which will help him qualify for a position within the agency.
If that happens he'll be working with his wife, Tech. Sgt. Bobbie White, 71st Mission Support Squadron NCO in charge of relocations, to get their move to Oklahoma City organized.
They met and were married at their previous station, Misawa Air Base, Japan.
Along with a bride, Sergeant White brought back an affinity for the street-racing cars popular in Japan. Think "The Fast and the Furious 3: Tokyo Drift." He enjoys spending time working on his black Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution -- 350-horsepower, spoiler and all -- and his Suzuki Katana 600, a Japanese muscle bike.
Sergeant White graduated from high school in Japan during his life as an Air Force brat.
"If I could pick any base to go to, it would be back to Misawa AB," he said. "I just like the atmosphere."