HomeHomeHawk Talk

weekly highlight-- 20 SEPT 21



This week Chief Morgan and I, along with a small cohort of 37 TRW personnel, are at the AFA Air, Space and Cyber Conference in Washington DC, followed by the Wing and Senior Enlisted Leaders’ Conference later this week.  We’re excited about attending in person this year, and experiencing a full agenda of speaker presentations and robust technology exposition. We look forward to returning to the Wing fully energized next week!

Last week the 37 TRW hosted its first “Bridging the Gap” conference. This event offered the opportunity for cross-talk to strengthen the collaboration among the teams response for inspiring, recruiting and training future Airmen and Guardians. With nearly 100 attendees, it was a productive first step and one that we’re sure will prove invaluable in the days and years ahead.

We also celebrated the Air Force’s 74th Birthday on Saturday with a JBSA drilldown, hosted by our very own 37 TRG!  A big thanks to all those that participated in the event (to include an awesome MWD demo).  It was awesome seeing the PRC filled on Saturday rooting on their respective teams.  Great work Warhawks and happy Birthday big blue.

Warhawks of the Week

My wingman Col Irick joined Chief Morgan in coining some outstanding Warhawks of the Week from the 37th Training Group and DLIELC last Friday.

ABOVE – From left are Col Irick; Fernando Escobedo, Jairo Yepes and SSgt Brock Howell of the 343 TRS; and Chief Morgan.

SSgt Brock Howell: As an instructor at the 343 TRS, SSgt Howell piloted a team of 9 Instructors as the action officer for the Initial Skill Course service test team. His impeccable leadership led to the administration of 49.5K learning hours and drove much needed changes in academia. Additionally, as a subject matter expert, SSgt Howell authored a pivotal “On the Job Guideline for the Learning Management System,” which proved critical in the development of three new instructors. Lastly, SSgt Howell’s unwavering work ethic produced his second coveted AETC Commander student recognition Award winner. Additionally, SSgt Howell represented the 343 TRS at a roundtable discussion with the United States Air Force Academy Curriculum Director, as a subject matter expert on the integration of prior-service students into the Security Forces Apprentice Course. SSgt Howell’s attributes are critical in the mission of the largest Air Force Technical Training Squadron.

Fernando Escobedo Jr:  As budget analyst for the 343 TRS, Mr. Escobedo manages $1.2M in initial distribution and $3.7M in unfunded projects and requirements. He recently mentored a sister squadron on budget and life-cycle requirements, verifying compliance with group standards and accelerating innovations within the sister unit. Additionally, Mr. Escobedo drove $150K in end-of-year fallout for the 37 TRG/CC’s #1 medical priority, replacing medical devices at the Medical Aid Station, Camp Bullis, Texas. This venture replaced 3 units, enabling the unit to reach compliance with the AED program and fulfilling the unit’s medical training objectives. He guided development of the $11.3M FY22 Budget Execution Plan, and reconciliation of a 12-month delinquency with a cell phone account, navigating budget law and directing prompt payment through the Contracting Squadron, enabling wing recognition for another member.

Jairo Yepes: As a supply technician assigned to the 343 TRS, Mr. Yepes has been instrumental in navigating logistics processes that have enabled the unit to perform replacement and acquisition processes for the first time in over a decade. He processed several items for purchase and increased authorizations for the unit, enabling the unit to accelerate change in the way it trains and prepares Defenders at all levels for the challenges of today and tomorrow. Specifically, he paved the way for the purchase of nearly $700K in tents and associated equipment and identified proper Defense Logistics Agency processes for the purchase of another $350K in items. Additionally, he mastered the process of asset exchange, enabling the unit to return inoperative night vision assets, some of which had sat on the shelves for more than two years, resulting in the replacement of 43 night vision units supporting the Security Forces Officer’s Course. 


ABOVE – From left, Col Irick coins SFC Shane Viers, Leslie Valdes and Geordie Keefe.

SFC Shane Viers is a member of the U.S. Army Element assigned at 637 TRG/DLIELC and works as the USAE Operations Noncommissioned Officer in Charge. SFC Viers spearheaded the planning for the University of Puerto Rico ROTC program training within 45 days of arrival. SFC Viers used his experience as a drill sergeant to develop the training plan for the ROTC cadets, that challenged them physically, mentally and linguistically. The ROTC cadets were able to participate in in-person English language training cultural immersion tour, Leaders Reaction Course, Occupational Physical Assessment Test, Army Combat Fitness Test and Virtual Battle Simulator 3. His expertise and commitment resulted in DLIELC and USAE providing superior summer training to 13 U.S. Army ROTC cadets.

Leslie Valdes is assigned to the 332 TRS/DLIELC as a Program Manager for General English Instructors.  Her efforts have been paramount to DLIELC’s return to face-to-face resident instruction, overseeing the scheduling and training for 115 instructors/400+ students weekly.  In addition, her efforts during Winter Storm Uri were a testament to Air Force core values where she went above and beyond to ensure the safety of her personnel while coordinating with other units to enable mission continuation in a degraded environment.  The culmination of her hard work lead her to being selected as a prestigious member of 637 TRG’s Professional Development Staff as a training manager where she supports and coordinates the professional development of over 600 civilian personnel. 

Geordie Keefe is a testing specialist assigned to the 332 TRS/DLIELC. Mr. Keefe continues to stand out in his role as the English Testing Flight, Oral Proficiency Interview, Coordinator, providing outstanding customer service to our in-country and foreign partners. His unfailing positivity and mission focus ensures that our OPI testing program continues through the challenges of telework both CONUS and OCONUS. Mr. Keefe facilitates both the resident and nonresident OPI tests, acting as the outward face of our OPI program answering myriad questions and requests daily with patience and accuracy.

Around the Warhawk Wing


37 TRG: On Sept. 18, the 37 TRG hosted its semi-annual Drill Down event allowing student Airmen to showcase their drill and ceremony capabilities. The event included technical training Airmen from the 343 TRS, 344 TRS, and 59 TRW from Ft Sam Houston. Military Training Leaders from the 37 TRG also teamed up with the 341 TRS to construct an exciting half-time show starring one of our Military Working Dogs. During our “Come one, Come all” knockout competition, CMSgt Gravely tried his best to trip up the participants, however, we ended up with a 3-way tie! It was a wonderful event for all as we work to safely get back into pre-COVID traditions. Congratulations to the Airmen from the 344 TRS for taking 1st place, and to all who participated. Great job!

DLIELC: On Sept. 16, Charlie Company, U.S. Army Element, volunteered with the San Antonio Food Bank and Soldier’s Angels to provide food to low-income veterans. This event allowed for current service members to help take care of those who came before them and prove even after your service is complete, you still are a brother and sister in arms. We are proud of Charlie for taking the initiative to give back to community and represent the cornerstones of DLIELC so well.

To stay in touch with happenings at JBSA-Lackland, please visit the Hawk Talk page on the 37 TRW website at https://www.37trw.af.mil/Home/Hawk-Talk/.


For more information contact 37TRW.PA.INBOX@US.AF.MIL. Submissions for the Hawk Talk are due by COB on Fridays.

What is the Hawk Talk?

The Hawk Talk is a weekly newsletter that includes pertinent news and events for members of the Warhawk wing and their families.