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Greenwood retires from Kentucky Air Guard after 32 years of service

Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey L. Greenwood (right) is presented with a Meritorious Service Medal by Maj. Kevin E. Thornberry, commander of the 123rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, during a retirement ceremony held in Greenwood’s honor at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., on Jan. 13, 2013. Greenwood, the 123rd Airlift Wing's vehicle fleet manager, served in the active-duty Air Force and Air National Guard for 32 years. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman Joshua Horton)

Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey L. Greenwood (right) is presented with a Meritorious Service Medal by Maj. Kevin E. Thornberry, commander of the 123rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, during a retirement ceremony held in Greenwood’s honor at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., on Jan. 13, 2013. Greenwood, the 123rd Airlift Wing's vehicle fleet manager, served in the active-duty Air Force and Air National Guard for 32 years. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman Joshua Horton)

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey L. Greenwood retired from the 123rd Airlift Wing with honors during a ceremony here Jan. 13, concluding a career that spanned 32 years of service in the active-duty Air Force and Air National Guard.

Greenwood, the wing's vehicle fleet manager, received a Meritorious Service Medal and a Kentucky Distinguished Service Medal during the ceremony, which drew a crowd of more than 200 friends, family and coworkers to the Base Annex.

"My fear today is that I cannot adequately illustrate the career and accomplishments of Chief Greenwood," said Maj. Kevin E. Thornberry, commander of the 123rd's logistics readiness squadron. "I'm honored to have the opportunity to officiate today's retirement ceremony for not only a great chief, but a great husband, father, grandfather and friend."

Greenwood's career began Nov. 19, 1980, when he enlisted in the active-duty Air Force and served as a vehicle operator and trainer at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss.

Greenwood transferred to the Kentucky Air National Guard in 1985, joining the wing's Resource Management Squadron as a vehicle operator. He later cross-trained to vehicle maintenance and was hired as a full-time technician in 1996. The following year, Greenwood became a member of the Active Guard-Reserve program, filling the post of vehicle manager and analyst. Under his leadership, vehicle operations maintained a mission capability rating of more than 90 percent.

"I'm here to tell you that if there was a job to get done or a mission to execute, there was no one better for the task than Chief Greenwood," Thornberry told the audience. "Although a great leader and a great mentor, Chief Greenwood's greatest strength is his warrior ethos."

Greenwood's leadership skills were exemplified when he served as the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of the wing's Cargo Deployment Function during multiple Operational Readiness Inspections, including the first-ever Homeland Security/Homeland Defense ORI in 2010 when the wing received an overall rating of "excellent."

Greenwood deployed to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, in 2003, 2007 and 2008 in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. He also has been an integral part of homeland support for Air Expeditionary Force deployments from 2001 to 2012, Thornberry said. His expertise was highly regarded, with Greenwood serving on the Vehicle Management Advisory Group for FEMA's Region Four district office from 2010 to 2012.

"Chief Greenwood, you've touched many lives in the Kentucky Air National Guard," Thornberry said. "Although it will be difficult to replace you, we know that those who you've mentored are ready to step in. Good luck to you Chief. Sit back and enjoy your retirement knowing you did well."

Greenwood said he's looking forward to spending more time with his wife, children and four grandchildren, and to enjoying long weekend golf outings.

"I want to especially thank my family," he said. "I couldn't have done this without all of your support over the years. Thank you very much."