News>55th Wing bids farewell to Command Chief CMSgt. Funderburg
Chief Master Sgt. Kenneth Funderburg, 55th Wing command chief, attaches his commemorative ribbon to the Offutt Chief’s Group guidon as a symbol of honor at his retirement ceremony Sept. 5 at the Airman Leadership School here. Chief Master Sgt. Scott Reed, 55th Medical Group superintendent, holds the guidon. Chief Funderburg’s career spanned more than 30 years and involved working supply, intelligence and special operations as well as being the principal advisor to the 55th Wing commander. (U.S. Air Force Photo By Josh Plueger)
Chief Master Sgt. Kenneth Funderburg, 55th Wing command chief, retired Sept. 5 in a ceremony at Offutt’s Airman Leadership School. Chief Funderburg addresses a full house during his retirement speech. Chief Funderburg played a critical role in improving the quality of life here with his efforts to build a new base exchange, mini-mall, child development center and Airman connection facility. (U.S. Air Force Photo By Josh Plueger)
Chief Master Sgt. Kenneth Funderburg, 55th Wing command chief, retired Sept. 5 in a ceremony at Offutt AFB’s Airman Leadership School. Chief Funderburg’s career spanned more than 30 years and involved working in supply, intelligence and special operations as well as being the principal advisor to the 55th Wing commander. (U.S. Air Force Photo By Josh Plueger)
by Staff Sgt. Hillary A. Stonemetz
55th Wing Public Affairs
9/17/2008 - OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- The 55th Wing bid farewell to its top enlisted leader during a retirement ceremony Sept. 5 at the James M. McCoy Airman Leadership School here.
The career of 55th Wing Command Chief Master Sgt. Kenneth Funderburg spanned more than 30 years through joint operations and around the world.
Brig. Gen. James J. Jones, 55th Wing commander, presided over the ceremony in front of a large audience that packed the indoor ALS drill pad.
"It's been a great ride," said Chief Funderburg. "I will always cherish my time in the United States Air Force. When I came in, I only planned on doing four years. Thirty years later, I'm still in the Air Force and proud to wear the blue."
During his three decades in the Air Force, the Chief had a positive impact on many people's lives.
"Chief Funderburg has done tremendous things here in Air Combat Command," said General Jones. "I have learned from Chief and I am a better person because of what he has brought to the table and shared with me. He is unquestionably committed to his country. He has the highest standards when it comes to integrity, commitment, professionalism and when it comes to caring about Airmen."
Chief Funderburg enlisted in the Air Force in 1978. He was initially in the supply career field before cross training into the intelligence career field in 1982.
His experience in both career fields made the Chief realize the importance of every job to the overall mission.
"Every AFSC has its place in our Air Force," said Chief Funderburg. "That is something being in supply and cross training into intel and doing many additional duties taught me. It helped me to be the person that I turned out to be in our Air Force."
In addition to serving at Air Force units, Chief Funderburg served in joint intelligence environments around the world that let him share his expertise with the Army, Navy and Marine Corps.
It was a very big day for the Air Force when Chief cross trained into the intelligence career field according to General Jones. "Chief Funderburg established himself in the intel career field like very few people do."
"He got into the special ops world at Fort Bragg and started transforming things in the intel world and started making contributions to the special ops world, some of which we just can't talk about," said General Jones. "Most of which we are still benefitting from."
Chief Funderburg advised U.S. Army aviation forces and the joint special ops task force commanding general on the order of battle and the way ahead during Desert Storm, he said.
"Chief Funderburg is a military expert," said General Jones. "He designed a lot of the joint doctrine, the curriculum, for the development of joint special ops. He trained the Army on how to succeed in their career field. He has set himself apart from his peers in a number of ways."
Chief Funderburg also played a critical role in improving the quality of life and work environment at Offutt by his efforts to build a new base exchange, mini-mall, child development center and Airman connection facility. He also relocated the Airman's Attic to improve accessibility and initiated a dormitory security upgrade.
"I think Chief has set a standard that we can all only strive to emulate," said General Jones. "The value of what he has contributed to his country can never be overstated. We are a better service because of his sacrifices and his professionalism. Our country is safer because of his sacrifices."