Crump concludes 39-year Ky. Air Guard career
By Senior Airman Clayton Wear, 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 12, 2020
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- After 39 years of service to the Kentucky Air National Guard, Chief Master Sgt. Robert L. Crump retired during a ceremony held in the main hangar here Sept. 13.
Crump began his career in April 1989 as a specialist in the 123rd Security Forces Squadron. After two years serving as a defender, he transferred to the 123rd Maintenance Squadron where he would spend the next 37 years.
“Thank you for being with him through his mountain-top moments and carrying him through his valleys of trial,” Maj. Jeffrey Nicolas, 123rd Airlift Wing chaplain, told the socially distanced audience. “Over the years, it has been Robert’s faithful integrity, selfless service and dedication to Airmen that has distinguished him as an outstanding contributor to the success of the 123rd.”
After joining the maintenance squadron, Crump worked in the electronic counter measures career field to support RF-4C Phantom II aircraft from 1983 to the beginning of 1986. After the 123rd transitioned from the F-4 to C-130B Hercules aircraft, Crump further expanded his career as a crew chief.
“To say that he has years of experience might be the biggest understatement of a lifetime,” said Lt. Col. James Embry, 123rd Maintenance Squadron commander. “Chief served many roles in his career that paved the way for many of the wings’ and his personal success. He worked as a C-130B crew chief for three years before landing back in the ECM shop, where he would become the shop chief in 2012 and again after the merge with the communications squadron in 2014.”
Crump served as the accessories element supervisor in 2015, which led to his promotion in position and rank as the equipment maintenance superintendent of the 123rd Maintenance Squadron and to chief master sergeant in 2017.
“While Chief and I worked together in several capacities over the years, the last couple have really helped me see through to the genuine leader he has become, capitalizing on such a diverse path to the top,” Embry said. “Having highlighted how he has deployed to over 50 countries abroad, I have to highlight his leadership during the most critical of contingency operations where he delivered pure results. During his deployments, he had an 89 percent mission-capable rate for all aircraft supporting combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Through Crump’s storied career, he has deployed to Germany 24 times in support of operations Provide Promise, Joint Endeavor, Joint Guard, Shining Hope and Joint Forge. Crump also deployed to Oman in support of Operation Southern Watch; to Panama four times; to Puerto Rico six times in support of U.S. Southern Command efforts; and seven times in support of operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and Noble Eagle.
“Suffice to say that whether deploying for war, supporting hurricane relief, supporting multiple higher headquarters readiness inspections and exercises or just the day-to-day flying operations to keep ready for the call, Chief Crump provided the know-how and leadership that sets the 123rd apart,” Embry said.