The 9th Reconnaissance Wing new vice commander: Q&A

Col. Christopher Stricklin, 9th Reconnaissance Wing vice commander, poses for a photo May 5, 2015, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Stricklin is Beale’s new vice commander, as of June 9, 2015. He was previously assigned as deputy director and U.S. senior national representative, NATO Center of Excellence-Defense Against Terrorism, Ankara, Turkey. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ramon A. Adelan/Released)

Col. Christopher Stricklin, 9th Reconnaissance Wing vice commander, poses for a photo May 5, 2015, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Stricklin is Beale’s new vice commander, as of June 9, 2015. He was previously assigned as deputy director and U.S. senior national representative, NATO Center of Excellence-Defense Against Terrorism, Ankara, Turkey. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ramon A. Adelan/Released)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, California -- Team Beale welcomed Col. Christopher Stricklin as the new 9th Reconnaissance Wing vice commander June 9, 2015, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Stricklin was previously assigned as deputy director and U.S. senior national representative, NATO Center of Excellence-Defense Against Terrorism, Ankara, Turkey.

Stricklin a Shelby, Alabama, native, received his Bachelor of Science degree in economics from the United States Air Force Academy in 1994. He then attended Euro- NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, and earned his wings in October, 1995.  Following graduation and basic F-15 Eagle training, Stricklin's first assignment was to the 60th Fighter Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, in October, 1996, flying the F-15C.

(Below is a question and answer segment conducted with Col. Christopher Stricklin.)

Q: What is your most memorable Air Force experience?

A: "That's a tough one, I'm looking to make a new one every day I come to work. We should enjoy our job to a level where we are always looking to make that new memorable experience. I have had some unique type of experiences from the F-15C, to the F-16, to working in NATO, to serving in Afghanistan. Honestly I don't have one in particular; they all combine to form my career, which is memorable across my diverse experiences."

Q: As a career fighter pilot, what type of insight do you bring to the high-altitude Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance world?

A: "I don't view myself as a career fighter pilot, I'm a career officer. I personally don't believe we are defined by our profession. We are Airmen first. We should be able to portray that in our daily activities. Being a fighter pilot is just an experience that contributes to who I am and how I lead."

Q: What would you like to accomplish while here at Beale Air Force Base?

A: "The vice commander role is a challenge I have not experienced yet. Since the day we enter the Air Force, we are taught to be wingmen and then every day after we strive to increase our leadership skills. As you think about that, the role of the vice commander is to be the lead wingman for the wing commander. I will serve in his place when he is out and I will have to understand everything that he does and how he does it. That is my role, to be his lead wingman and display his vision to Team Beale. My vision as I add on to that is to make sure every Airman understands how critical they are to the mission."

Q: What advice would you share with Airmen; Enlisted and Officer?

A: "The advice I can give is to enjoy every day. We all provide an amazing part to the mission. It's important to know your role and how vital each person here is to our success."

Q: How many deployments have you gone on? And do you have any stories about them?

A: "I've stopped counting. I really don't like to know how many times I've been away from my family. But on my last deployment, I worked with the Army running convoys. I'm an aviator; I'm used to hopping into a cockpit, not getting in an up armored SUV. The knowledge and the relationships I gained there and on other deployments helped build who I am."

Personal Questions:

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: "My first hobby is my family. We work so much I try to spend as much time as I can with them. My other hobbies are running, reading and writing about leadership. I truly believe the more we study leadership, the good and the bad of other leaders, the better leaders we can become."

Q: What is your most memorable lifetime moment?

A: "I have many of them, the day I got married, the day I had my child, the day I joined the military. When you're married and have children you will have multiple moments. I'm not able to distinguish a specific one."