MINOT AIR FORCE BASE The new command chief of the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base says he's ready to lead, motivate and inspire the base's airmen.
Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Jurgella arrived at the base July 25.
Jurgella, originally from Stevens Point, Wis., served as a career enlisted aviator strike controller and battle manager on board several types of aircraft for a majority of his 26 years in the Air Force.
Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Jurgella
"I joined the Air Force because I wanted to see the world and get involved in something bigger and better than what my small hometown had to offer," said the chief. "The Air Force delivered."
Jurgella said he was fortunate enough to serve as the command chief for the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley AFB, Va., before coming to Minot AFB, and with that experience, he hopes to build upon what the previous command chief, Chief Master Sgt. Kent Smith, accomplished during his tenure here.
"Furthermore, I'm looking forward to partnering with Chief Master Sgt. John Hoffman, 91st Missile Wing command chief, and the other Minot chiefs and senior noncommissioned officers to continue to foster an environment of excellence for our enlisted corps," said Jurgella.
Jurgella expects greatness from airmen, and said truthfully, he's rarely been disappointed.
"No matter the test, adversity or challenge faced, our airmen get the job done with a style, grace and energy that in my mind, is unparalleled by any other service," he said. "Many of Team Minot's successes and triumphs can be directly tied to our airmen's positive 'can do' attitudes. The quiet confidence I've read about and seen firsthand can be traced back to the solid unit-level leadership they've been exposed to."
Jurgella said he believes his success is due to the great leadership and supervision he had, which all started with his first supervisor. He said his supervisor gave him a roadmap to follow to ensure he wouldn't fail, and he said that is ultimately what led him to where he is now.
"I have the best job in the world," he said. "Simply put, as the 5th BW command chief, I've been charged to lead, motivate and inspire our outstanding men and women so they can successfully execute our critical mission set."
He further explained how Col. James Dawkins, 5th Bomb Wing commander, depends on him to communicate and assist with the enforcement of policy and standards to ensure Team Minot is fully prepared to execute required duties.
"My job also affords me the opportunity to get out from behind the desk to visit our men and women in their work environment to see firsthand what they do for our nation," the chief said. "Like I said, it's the best job in the world!"
While this command chief certainly has many things to like about the Air Force, he said the airmen are his favorite part.
"My favorite part of the Air Force is pushing our airmen to accomplish more than they ever dreamed they could," he said. "Without question, our Air Force is the very best in the world but what produces that excellence isn't simply our major weapons systems, it's the airmen that pour their hearts and souls into their mission; that's the difference maker."
The chief said he and his wife Barb, are happy to be joining Team Minot. Jurgella said he is really looking forward to visiting each unit and getting to know everyone.
Smith, the outgoing command chief, expressed his gratitude to the airmen of Minot AFB.
"It was a pleasure serving with the men and women of Minot Air Force Base, as well as the local community members." said Smith. "This was truly a great place to live and work. Minot is in great hands now with Chief Jurgella, and I know its airmen will make him as proud as they made me."