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Wing leadership delivers Andersen mission at Capitol Hill

Brig. Gen. John Doucette, 36th Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Allen Mullinex, 36th Wing command chief, Tech. Sgt. Ralph Oliver, 36th Judge Advocate NCO in-charge of military justice, and Staff. Sgt. Melissa Kramerick, 36th Operation Support Squadron weather forecaster, met with Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee during a visit to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Sept. 28. (U.S. Air Force Courtesy Photo)

Brig. Gen. John Doucette (left), 36th Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Allen Mullinex (right), 36th Wing command chief, Tech. Sgt. Ralph Oliver (right center), 36th Judge Advocate NCO in-charge of military justice, and Staff. Sgt. Melissa Kramerick (left center), 36th Operation Support Squadron weather forecaster, met with Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton (center), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee during a visit to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Sept. 28. (U.S. Air Force Courtesy Photo)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam - -- Washington D.C. has been the cornerstone of this great nation for 220 years. The home of our founding fathers, it has acted as a think-tank for some of the greatest minds in history and personifies democracy and the ever-evolving American dream.

Brig. Gen. John Doucette, 36th Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Allen Mullinex, 36th Wing command chief, accompanied by Tech. Sgt. Ralph Oliver, 36th Judge Advocate NCO in-charge of military justice, and Staff. Sgt. Melissa Kramerick, 36th Operation Support Squadron weather forecaster, had the opportunity to meet, and deliver the Andersen Air Force Base mission to some of today's prominent figures in American politics Sept. 26 - 29 at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

The purpose of the visit, which is an annual occurrence per Air Force Instruction, is to provide insight into the Air Force mission and build long-term, face-to-face relationships with members of Congress.

"Our reason for going is to build a positive rapport with Congressmen," Chief Mullinex said. "It is important they have an understanding of what is going on in our Air Force and on our installation specifically. We elected to have Sergeant Oliver and Sergeant Kramerick with us in order to showcase the quality of Airmen we have at Andersen."
Sergeant Oliver and Sergeant Kramerick were hand-selected by General Doucette and Chief Mullinex to represent all Andersen Airmen as a result of their dedication to upholding the Air Force Core Values on and off duty.

"It is an honor to have been selected," Sergeant Kramerick said. "I never thought I would have the chance to sit and talk freely with members of Congress. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity."

Similarly, Sergeant Oliver was both proud and humbled to be selected for the special duty.

"It felt good to know that I was selected by our leadership," Sergeant Oliver said. "To be able to pick the minds of Airmen who have achieved so much and openly talk with members of Congress is a rarity at best."

During the week, Airmen were able to meet with Congressman John Fleming of Louisiana, Matt Herrmann on behalf of Madeleine Bordallo, Guam representative to the House of Representatives, and Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

Team Andersen Airmen were able to develop an understanding of the workings of Congress, the day-to-day activities and responsibilities of Congressmen, as well as ask questions in an open forum.

"I particularly enjoyed meeting Congressman Skelton because of the nature of his job," Sergeant Oliver said. "He has been a member of congress since 1977, so he has had a hand in many of the policies that we adhere to today. It was amazing to be in a place where decisions are being made about the United States on a daily basis."

The Congressmen's ability to put their visitors at ease made a lasting impression on Sergeant Kramerick.

"These are people who are busy all the time," Sergeant Kramerick said. "I was expecting to be rushed and not get to speak often, but it was nothing like that. We met in each member's office and it was such a relaxed environment. We were able to have laid-back, open conversations."

The annual Capitol Hill visit is not only an opportunity to be recognized for outstanding performance, but is a chance to expand and diversify knowledge about the inner-workings of U.S. Government. It also portrays a positive representation of the Airmen who comprise the world's greatest Air Force.

"I believe we accomplished our mission," Chief Mullinex said. "Congressmen were given a good representation of the professionalism of our Airmen and we were able to leave them with a better understanding of the 36th Wing mission."

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