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Getting to know the new AFIMSC Detachment 4 commander

  • Published
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – Col. Richard Martin took command of Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center’s Detachment 4 at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, during an assumption of command ceremony Aug. 19.

One of 10 detachments serving as the liaison and on-site support between Air Force major commands, Space Force and the AFIMSC enterprise, Detachment 4 directly supports U.S. Air Forces in Europe and U.S. Air Forces Africa.

A Massachusetts native, Martin earned a commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1998. We asked him a few questions about his life, his career and his thoughts about joining the AFIMSC team.

Time in service? 
I have been in the Air Force for just over 24 years, receiving my commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps upon graduation from Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, in May 1998.

Hometown?
I grew up in Norton, Massachusetts, a small town about half way between Boston and Providence, Rhode Island. And, yes, I’m a Boston sports fan … get over it!

Can you please tell us a little about your career leading up to this point?
It has been a wonderful journey and I have not had a bad assignment in my 24+ year career. My family and I certainly consumed more than our fair share of the Air Force’s permanent-change-of-station budget with 15 assignments under our belt, including seven separate one-year tours – four of them back-to-back-to-back-to-back! 

My opportunities have been varied, with many in the traditional civil engineer career field track, but also with teaching assignments as a captain at the Air Force Academy and at National Defense University, College of International Security Affairs, as a colonel. 

With all of that said, (I give) credit to my wife, Derya, and two daughters, Melissa and Marina, who have endured the endless cycle of relocation, new schools, new friends, etc., like true champions. They are not alone in this sacrifice and I have the utmost respect for what our military families do for our nation; they are truly selfless in their service.

What about your new role has you the most excited?
As a career mission support officer, I have always felt strongly about what our air bases and installations mean to mission success. Bottom line, the Air Force and Space Force doesn’t fly, fight, and win without the built and natural infrastructure AFIMSC is charged to sustain and care for. 

This position provides me with the opportunity to continue this passion, working alongside tremendous professionals who are committed to delivering the power projection platforms needed to succeed in today’s near-peer competitive globe. This is especially true for AFIMSC Detachment 4 where installations across Europe and Africa matter more today than at any time in recent history.

What do you want the AFIMSC team to know about you?
Similar to what I said before, I’m passionate about all things installations and mission support and excited to join the AFIMSC team. I look forward to working with not only my Detachment 4 team, but also the entire AFIMSC enterprise, over the next few years. For sure, doing it from Europe is definitely an added bonus!

What do you like most about serving in the Air Force? 
Being surrounded by amazing human beings collectively devoted to a mission and cause greater than themselves. Throughout my career, I have had the chance to witness Airmen – military, civilian and contractor – accomplish amazing feats and rise above consistent challenges to deliver the mission. I am absolutely inspired by these Airmen – it is what keeps me going day in and day out. 

This was undoubtedly reinforced when I had the chance to lead Airmen in Afghanistan during a complex Taliban attack. Every teammate stepped up and was all-in to defend the base, deliver the mission and care for each other without any hesitation or concern for self. This sealed it for me. You’ll often hear me say, “Airmen are awesome … be inspired every day.” I truly believe it and it motivates me to continue serving our Air Force.

What's something people would be surprised to know about you?
I grew up playing ice hockey, starting at age five, and eventually going to a small private high school outside of Boston where I played four years at a competitive level. It took me a few extra years to put on some pounds, so I was much too small to continue at the collegiate level. It is all for the better because who knows how it would have altered my ROTC path but, boy, what I would do to be back at that weight again!

To learn more about Martin’s career, read his official bio at https://www.afimsc.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/Display/Article/3136615/richard-w-martin-jr/