235th Civil Engineer Flight Welcomes New Commander
By SSgt. Tabitha Gomes, 235th CE
/ Published August 25, 2011
Baltimore -- Col. Rebecca Bahm, originally from Racine, Wisconsin, spent ten years on Active Duty Air Force from 1990 through 2000. Upon separating in early October 2000, she wasted no time and joined the Maryland Air National Guard's 235th Civil Engineer Flight the following day.
The 235th Civil Engineer Flight is comprised of large number of senior leaders, and includes 40 personnel. There are three S-team packages (an S-team unit is primarily designed to provide staff augmentation to augment an engineer directorate at MAJCOM level), each containing 12 members, one colonel, two lieutenant colonels, seven majors, a chief master sergeant and a senior master sergeant. The 235th is also one of the few S-team flights with a fire element that includes three qualified firefighters: a chief master sergeant, senior master sergeant and master sergeant.
Bahm came in as a captain to a squadron full of men who outranked her and at that time it didn't seem that there was much opportunity to move up. "There were a lot of people ahead of me", Bahm stated. As time went on, members shifted to the AF Reserves or retired, and before she knew it she was pinning on colonel. Not too long after she was "selected through a competitive process from a pool of qualified individuals" Chief Master Sgt. Sizemore, the unit's full time manager, explained.
As an Active Duty and Air National Guard member, Bahm has deployed numerous times which has helped to supplement her knowledge of requirements as an S-team member. Bahm has had the opportunity to work with many of the 235th mission customers to include HQ USAFEurope/A7, the Pentagon A7 Air Staff and many others while in theater. "A background in the engineering career field coupled with her networking at all levels in the USAF make her a superb choice for the Commander position", said Sizemore. More importantly many of her deployment opportunities have given her insight on what is expected of a commander, as Bahm put it "every experience adds something to your tool kit." Bahm continued to explain that her four month tour as the services squadron commander at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, TX. prepared her the most for her upcoming job as the 235th Commander.
Bahm is definitely the right person for this job. "She has a very solid grasp and connection to the day to day operation of this organization, despite the fact that she is a traditional Guardsman" Sizemore said. She is a motivated and detailed oriented individual who is ready to get her hands dirty, accomplish priorities and set new goals as she steps into the commander position.
Finally, she plans to focus on hosting the S-team conference in October at Camp Fretterd in Reisterstown, Maryland, which is a high visibility event. All five S-teams in the National Guard, four from the reserve, members of National Guard Bureau A7, all mission customers and senior leaders will be attending this event.
Bahm's number one priority will be getting people ready at home and on the job for their next deployment. She plans to work personnel management issues, promotions, slots and a direction for people to go. "I want to make sure I lay the proper groundwork for squadron member's upward mobility", Bahm explained.