Gary's Military Biography (Written in 2004)
MASTER SERGEANT GARRET L. BROWN
AFSC: 2E174, IMAGERY SYSTEMS MAINTENANCE CRAFTSMAN
Master Sergeant Garret L. Brown is a Service Disabled Veteran, retired from the US Air Force after 21 years of faithful service. His broad range of accomplishments is reflected by his ability to perform any task and meet every challenge.
Sergeant Brown was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico on 12 August 1965. He grew up in Montrose, Colorado, attended Montrose High School, and graduated in February 1983.
Sergeant Brown enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on 29 April 1983. After attending basic training, Sergeant Brown attended technical training at Lowry Air Force Base, Colorado. In November 1983, he was assigned to the 544th Strategic Intelligence Wing, Offutt AFB, NE. He served in several positions while at Offutt, including Light Table Maintenance in the SAC Underground, and Photo Maintenance Specialist in the Target Materials Squadron Photo Plant. While working at the Photo Plant, Sergeant Brown was responsible for maintenance of more than $300 million worth of film processing equipment supporting various tactical and strategic reconnaissance platforms, including RF-4, RF-16, SR-71, U-2, and various imagery satellites. He was awarded the squadron's "Worker of the Week" award 11 times during his stay at Offutt.
In November 1986, Sergeant Brown was assigned to the 90th Combat Support Group, F.E. Warren AFB, WY. He served as NCOIC Photo Maintenance, and also performed duties as photographer, videographer, and graphic artist.
In November 1987, Sergeant Brown volunteered for special duty as SAC Minuteman Facility Manager, 320th Strategic Missile Squadron, 90th Strategic Missile Wing, F.E. Warren AFB, WY. He was immediately trained and assigned to India-01 Launch Control Facility near Sidney, NE. He participated heavily in the Self-Help program and completed more than seven major facility retrofit projects during his tour. He was also handpicked to oversee a $4 million contractor renovation of four Launch Control facilities and their support buildings. Sergeant Brown was awarded the squadron's Facility Manager of the Quarter six times and the Wing's Facility Manager of the Quarter once.
In November 1991, Sergeant Brown was again assigned to the 544th Strategic Intelligence Wing, Offutt AFB, NE. He served as Wing Facility Consultant for eight months. During that time, he supervised more than $4 million in contracted facility renovations and repairs. In June 1992, the 544th Strategic Intelligence Wing was closed for business, and Sergeant Brown was assigned to the new United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) as Imagery Systems Maintenance Shift Supervisor. His initial function was to help bring an aging maintenance shop into the 21st century to support the new mission of USSTRATCOM, and rise of digital imagery. Part of this support included installation of a $3 million digital imaging center, responsible for transfer of 3 billion feet of hard-copy imagery to Defense Intelligence Agency electronic imagery databases. During his assignment at the USSTRATCOM Photo Plant, Sergeant Brown received several awards for his machine shop work, including winning the famed "Knucklebuster of the Month" three times.
In August, 1996, Sergeant Brown was assigned to the 18th Communications Squadron, Kadena AB, Japan as NCOIC Visual Information (VI) Maintenance. His efforts to improve maintenance throughout the VI element resulted in the consolidation of two maintenance shops and supply shop into one section, VI Logistics, with Sergeant Brown as NCOIC. He integrated the new section's personnel into a cohesive team with the capability to provide maintenance throughout the VI element, as well as provide more structured supply support. In addition, Logistics took over responsibility for broadcast of the 18th Wing Commander's Access Channel, a cable television station focused on base activities. In April 1998, the two maintenance career fields (Imagery and Video) were merged at the Air Force level, and Sergeant Brown led Logistics through the merger accordingly, while providing highly skilled technicians across the board with no lapse in task coverage.
In December 1999, Sergeant Brown was assigned to the U.S. European Command Joint Analysis Center's (JAC) Imagery Systems Maintenance shop. His first task there was to oversee the move of the European Command's premier precision imagery production laboratory to a new state-of-the-art production facility in support of U-2 and UAV reconnaissance missions. He developed a property management database program that saved more than 80 manhours of equipment tracking/inventory every month. In addition, he instituted an intensive Maintenance Quality Assurance program, ensuring full compliance with maintenance standards and identifying training shortfalls before they became mission shortfalls. His efforts resulted in the JAC Photo Lab's selection as "Best in DoD" in 2001 and 2002. During the Defense Intelligence Agency directed Imagery Quality Assurance Program inspection of 2002, Sergeant Brown's leadership was cited by inspectors as the key factor in the Lab's "Outstanding" rating.
In February 2003, Sergeant Brown was reassigned to the 721st Communications Squadron, Cheyenne Mountain AFS, Colorado as an A-76 Quality Assurance Evaluator. His duties included oversight of three communications operation/maintenance contracts performed by five contractors, including OAO Corporation, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Qwest Communications, and AT&T. The systems he monitored included missile warning, air defense, space warning/surveillance, computer/data networks, and computer maintenance. He also oversaw commercial communications for the prestigious Cheyenne Mountain complex, and the US Air Force Academy. During his tenure as Quality Assurance Evaluator, he recommended more than 60 changes to contract statements of work, and ensured 99.8 percent uptime of all mission critical systems.
Sergeant Brown has participated in many child-oriented programs, including the Casey Family Foster Parent program in Wyoming, Nebraska Family Services Foster Parent program, and Nebraska Family Services child development programs. He was a voting member of both the Plattsmouth, NE Wildlife and Conservation Club and the Offutt AFB Trap and Skeet Club. Current memberships include DAV, American Legion, NAVoba, and VetBizCentral.
His military awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Air Force Achievement Medal.
Sergeant Brown has attended the NCO Preparatory Course (Feb 1986), NCO Leadership School (Mar 1989), and the NCO Academy (Feb 1998). He completed a Community College of the Air Force Associate of Applied Science Degree in Electronic Systems in October 2002, and is currently working toward Bachelor's degrees in Project Management and Computer Science.