Linebacker of the Week: Tech. Sgt. Robert Pepper

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Emily Saxton

Andersen Air Force Base, Guam – U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Robert Pepper, the noncommissioned officer in charge of Silver Flag maintenance assigned to the 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron, was recognized as the 36th Wing’s Team Andersen Linebacker of the Week, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, April 19, 2023.

The Team Andersen Linebacker of the Week recognizes outstanding enlisted, officer, civilian and total force personnel who have had an impact on achieving Team Andersen’s mission, vision and priorities.

As the NCOIC of Silver Flag maintenance, Pepper leads and develops five members, overseeing scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. Pepper innovates data management tools for expenditure tracking and the management of a $1.5 million budget. Additionally, he controls and assigns maintenance repair actions for 1,500 vehicles in support of Pacific Air Forces’ rotational Tanker Task Force, Bomber Task Force, Dynamic Force Employment and multi-lateral exercises.

“I love taking something that is used and abused [vehicles] and bringing it back to health,” said Pepper.

During his time as NCOIC of Silver Flag maintenance, Pepper directed the relocation and repairs of 25 inoperable assets powering a $40 million military construction airfield project, equipping Andersen AFB’s contingency dispersal plan with capabilities for two additional aircraft parking spaces. He also managed the repairs on 89 critical assets, driving interoperability training across 13 Air Force Specialty Codes and enabling 517 joint qualification certifications. Pepper also coordinated with a local U.S. Army fleet and procured 710 vehicle parts valued at $210,000 enabling the team to expedite maintenance repairs and prevented Silver Flag’s training course cancellation.

Pepper’s focus on innovation drove him to develop metric trackers or the flight’s financial accountability and reporting of over $1.5 million, impacting the operations and maintenance of Andersen AFB’s vehicle fleet. Pepper’s actions led to his selection as the NCOIC of night shift operations during Cope North 23. During that time, he led a four-member team responsible for the maintenance and repairs of 325 vehicles. His team identified a critical safety limiting factor for the 36 WG’s vehicle shipment process and prevented two non-airworthy assets from deploying, mitigating the aircrafts exposure to hazardous material and protecting operators from catastrophic equipment failure.

“I try to thrive on being selfless,” said Pepper. “Putting the people beneath me before myself”

The term Linebacker is rooted deep within Team Andersen’s history. Operation Linebacker II took place on Dec. 18, 1972, and was the largest number of heavy bomber strikes launched by the U.S. Air Force since the end of World War II. During the operation, B-52s from Andersen flew round-the-clock bombing missions over North Vietnam to destroy major targets in Hanoi and Haiphong in an effort to bring the Democratic Republic of Vietnam back to negotiations.

The recipient will have the opportunity to sign a “Linebacker” football jersey that will be displayed in the Wing Headquarters building.

Way to go, Pepper!