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Weasel of the Week | SSgt Richard Henley

SSgt Richard Henley sits in front of radio equipment.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Richard Henley, 20th Operations Support Squadron air traffic control and landing systems supervisor, poses for a photo in front of radio equipment at Shaw Air Force Base (AFB), South Carolina, April 19, 2021. Henley was named Weasel of the Week, which recognizes the accomplishments of Shaw AFB members and asks them to share their experiences, Air Force spirit and personalities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dallin Wrye)

OSAM Group Photo.

U.S. Air Force Col. Lawrence T. Sullivan, 20th Fighter Wing commander, presents a weasel mug to Staff Sgt. Richard Henley, 20th Operations Support Squadron air traffic control and landing systems supervisor, at Shaw Air Force Base (AFB), South Carolina, April 19, 2021. Henley was named Weasel of the Week, which recognizes the accomplishments of Shaw AFB members and asks them to share their experiences, Air Force spirit and personalities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dallin Wrye)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --


The Weasel of the Week series asks Team Shaw to share their experiences, Air Force spirit and personalities. We sat down with Staff Sgt. Richard Henley, 20th Operations Support Squadron air traffic control and landing systems supervisor, to get to know him and his job. Henley performs daily maintenance on the radio equipment air traffic controllers use to communicate with aircraft, radar systems used to guide aircraft and other mission essential gear. He plans on completing his bachelor’s degree and trying to get into to the Air Force’s Nursing Commission Program.

Where are you from?
North Olmsted, Ohio.

Why did you decide to join the Air Force?
I joined the Air Force because my family has a long running tradition of joining the military. I also wanted to start gaining experience in a job that fit me and my interests.

How long have you been at Shaw?
I have been at Shaw AFB for about two years. I arrived on station in July of 2019.

What is your favorite part of South Carolina?
My favorite part of South Carolina has to be Myrtle Beach. I have visited the area multiple times, I always find something new to do out there and the area is beautiful year round.

What is your favorite part of your hometown?
My favorite part of my hometown has to be the winters. I’ve always preferred cold weather and I love having snow on the ground.

How would you describe a normal day for you?
A normal day for me entails working on radio equipment that air traffic controllers use to communicate with aircraft. It is a lot of troubleshooting and verifying that everything is working the way that it should be.

What is your favorite sport? Team?
I grew up playing ice hockey and played for about 14 years. My favorite team is the Columbus Blue Jackets.

What is one word that describes how you lead?
The best word to describe how I lead would have to be active. I’ve never been one to take a backseat when it comes to leading and I don’t like to be on the sideline watching as things happen.

What is one Air Force resource you found that is incredibly beneficial?
The most beneficial resource that I have found within the Air Force would have to be anything linked to Education. There are so many open resources and courses offered to become more knowledgeable and to grow as both a person and as a leader.

What is one thing you wish people knew about your job?
I wish more people knew how much went on behind the scenes with our job. Many of the users for our equipment don’t realize just how much we do every day, how many different things we have to work on and look at whenever there is an issue.

What is your least favorite task and how do you make sure you get it done?
My least favorite task that I have to do would have to be the documentation that we do after working on equipment. I make sure that I get it done though with some checklists and reminders that I have setup.

What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of my job would have to be training others on how to work on the equipment. I always enjoy seeing people’s reactions to finally understanding how something works, especially when it’s something that they were struggling to understand initially.

What would you like to say to the people back home??
I would just like to say that I miss them and that all the love and support they send me is greatly appreciated.