The new commanding officer of Naval Air Station-Kingsville has only on the job for a couple of weeks, but on Thursday he sat down with 3News to talk about the future of the base.
Before being selected to command NAS-Kingsville, Captain Chris "Chet" Misner worked for the Office of the Secretary of Defense as a military assistant trip coordinator. He said it was a tremendous experience.
"I've been to some great places," Misner said. "I've got to be with the secretary walking near the Great Wall of China, or going down range to Baghdad, or Kabul, or standing in Red Square, and I look at it as a valuable experience; and some of the things I learned on that job I think is going to help me today."
Misner said working for Secretary of Defense Bob Gates and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta helped him gain a good understanding of how things work in Washington, which will help him be a better commanding officer. He said the biggest challenge before him is being in the middle of sequestration and the furlough.
Misner said you can't take away 20-percent of someone's pay without it affecting morale.
"It's a significant event in their lives, so as the commanding officer, I'm taking a good hard look at making sure not only that we can complete our mission still, which we have to do that, but making sure we're taking a look at these folks individually," Misner said. "Making sure they have what they need to not just do their jobs here at base, but to make sure their lives are still, you know, kind of still intact, and they're making and they're paying their bills and making their lives work for themselves."
Misner was born and raised just outside of Chicago. He went to military school up in Vermont, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1990 from Norwhich University. He has been in the military his entire life, living all over the country. He is a helicopter pilot by trade, and has done many operational tours of aircraft carriers.
Captain Misner said his vision for the air station is simple: take care of the finest sailors, Marines and civilians who work on the base, and make sure Training Airwing 3, which is the Airwing that flies the airplanes on base, has everything it needs to succeed.