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Munitions SNCO wins AFRC quarterly award

Master Sgt. Vincent Lopez, Munitions Accountable Systems Officer/Munitions Flight Chief, 94th Airlift Wing, Dobbins Air Reserve Base, receives a recognition slip from Col. Craig McPike, Commander of the 94th Airlift Wing, Dobbins ARB at the munitions facility on June 6, 2020. Lopez was a recent Air Force Reserve Command award winner for Outstanding Munitions Maintenance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Justin Clayvon)

Master Sgt. Vincent Lopez, Munitions Accountable Systems Officer/Munitions Flight Chief, 94th Airlift Wing, Dobbins Air Reserve Base, receives a recognition slip from Col. Craig McPike, Commander of the 94th Airlift Wing, Dobbins ARB at the munitions facility on June 6, 2020. Lopez was a recent Air Force Reserve Command award winner for Outstanding Munitions Maintenance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Justin Clayvon)

DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. -- Recognition for great work can be personally rewarding for an Airman. Being recognized is a chance to share accomplishments with a collective team. Combined recognition was the case for Master Sgt. Vincent Lopez, Munitions Accountable Systems Officer/Munitions Flight Chief, 94th Airlift Wing, Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia.

Lopez was recently an Air Force Reserve Command quarterly award winner in the category of Outstanding Munitions Maintenance. Base leadership recognized him during an impromptu in-person visit on June 6, 2020. After being recognized, Lopez took Col. Craig McPike, Commander of the 94th Airlift Wing, Dobbins ARB, and Chief Master Sgt. Vicki Robertson on a tour of the munitions facility.

As part of his job, Lopez helps maintain the munitions stockpile for the 94th Airlift Wing. The munitions group has various custodians with munitions accounts for mobility access; including air field management, aircraft maintenance, office of special investigations, security forces, explosive and ordinance and supply. Lopez himself has been instrumental in the quality assurance, inspections, and recent environmental study for the munitions group.

Lopez has been at Dobbins since 2011. He started as a traditional reservist before becoming an Air Reserve Technician in 2013. Lopez started his career in munitions as a munitions ordinance mechanic. He eventually moved up to senior munitions inspection position. Since 2018 he has been the flight chief/MASO.

The qualities that led Lopez to earn special recognition are easily visible to his leadership.

“Lopez has a thirst for knowledge and dedication for his people – he is constantly looking out for them,” said Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Gadsden, Maintenance Squadron Superintendent. “He is always asking himself what he can do for his people and what he can do to recognize his troops – it’s not just us as individuals, it’s us as a management.”

The people leader also gave credit to those mentors ahead of him and his team that helped instill a good work ethic.

Lopez mentioned that he had people around him; functional managers and other leaders who helped him grow.  These mentors taught him one of the Air Force standards is “never stop improving”. Lopez also highlighted that he needs the great people on his team doing what they do. He is fortunate to say that he is guiding, helping and being the voice of the team - but at the end of the day the team works together to accomplish the mission and goals.

The munitions leader has also deployed twice with DARB in roles with aircraft maintenance – NCOIC of toolkit management and program manager. Lopez spoke about the experience giving him the chance to do something different for four to five months and then come back to his job to kill the complacency that can set in sometimes and keep him well rounded. It was very beneficial to learn some new things and get some experience and new exposure elsewhere.

Lopez is very thankful for the opportunity for his team to be recognized for all of the great work that they do to accomplish the Dobbins mission of providing mission ready forces.

“It’s nice to be recognized, but I don’t take full credit for anything – this is a collective work area and working group,” said Lopez. “We focus on what is the priority. Priorities first, make sure our stuff is taken care of it. Work hard play hard.”