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Hazle retires, concluding three-decade career

Lt. Col. David Lalonde (left), commander of the 123rd Operations Support Squadron, pins the Meritorious Service Medal onto Chief Master Sgt. Joan Hazle (right), the outgoing superintendent of the Aircrew Flight Equipment Office, during Hazle’s retirement ceremony at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., April 17, 2016. Hazle is retiring after more than 30 years of service to the active-duty Air Force and Air National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo)

Lt. Col. David Lalonde (left), commander of the 123rd Operations Support Squadron, pins the Meritorious Service Medal onto Chief Master Sgt. Joan Hazle (right), the outgoing superintendent of the Aircrew Flight Equipment Office, during Hazle’s retirement ceremony at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., April 17, 2016. Hazle is retiring after more than 30 years of service to the active-duty Air Force and Air National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo)

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Closing a chapter that spans more than 30 years in the active-duty Air Force and Kentucky Air National Guard, Chief Master Sgt. Joan Hazle officially retired in a ceremony here April 17.

Lt. Col. David Lalonde, commander of the 123rd Operations Support Squadron, delivered a few remarks to an audience of more than 200 family members, friends and coworkers wishing to express their respects to Hazle, superintendent of the Aircrew Flight Equipment Office.

"Joan is someone I've known for 26 years, and she's been such a joy to work with," Lalonde said. "I've always enjoyed her demeanor and can't remember her ever getting mad about anything."

Lalonde went on to describe Hazle as a great role model, mentor and leader.

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Krauss, Air National Guard assistant to the commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, praised Hazel for her dedication to duty.

"Your expertise in the aircrew life support mission, attention to detail, leadership and positive personality have been essential ingredients in the recipe of success that the wing has become synonymous with over your many years of service to Kentucky," Krauss said.

"You're widely recognized as someone who can always be counted on among a cadre of personnel at the base who made it their personal mission to go above and beyond the expectations of their positions or job," Krauss continued. "I'm truly honored to have been able to serve with you and wish you the very best in the future."

Hazle enlisted in the active-duty Air Force in 1977. She joined the Kentucky Air National Guard in 1987 and became a full-time technician in 1988, where she worked in the Aircrew Life Support shop.

After the Air Force instituted the Air Force Total Quality Initiative in 1994, she was hired for a four-year tour working as the total quality management assistant. Hazle then returned to work in the Aircrew Life Support section as a full-time employee in 1998.

In May 2010, she was hired as the Aircrew Flight Equipment superintendent, overseeing 13 airmen, and was subsequently promoted to the rank of chief master sergeant.

Using her final remarks to give praise to the Airmen she worked with, Hazle said, "I trust them completely. They do their very best, and they never take the easy road. I'm so proud of them and I love them deeply."