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'Top' performance enjoyed and appreciated

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Vic Guerra
  • 171st Air Refueling Wing
Tops in Blue was here on Sept. 10, and put on a fantastic show at the Moon Park Amphitheater. For those who weren't able to attend, Tops in Blue is the Air Force's premier entertainment showcase. They provide quality entertainment from within the Air Force and for Air Force families, while promoting community relations, supporting recruiting efforts and serving as ambassadors for the United States of America and the United States Air Force.

The Tops in Blue performers and technicians are Airmen from various Air Force backgrounds and specialties. They are on a one year permissive temporary duty tour,
which this year includes one of our own, Airman 1st Class Lisa Weiss from our 171st Force Support Squadron.

The ultimate effort and sacrifice these Airmen go through is remarkable. There aren't any grips to unpack, set up, tear down and to repack the equipment. They bring their own full size stage, lighting, sound system, props, instruments, wardrobe, etc., with them. With that amount of gear and equipment, it takes almost two full size tractor trailers to haul it all!

We had unit Airmen helping with the planning and preparation to get Tops in Blue here to Pittsburgh and bring this event to realization. The committee was headed by 1st Lt. Chris Preffer and Chief Master Sgt. Charlie Thomas and included representatives from finance, services, security forces, recruiting, mission support, public affairs, logistics readiness, civil engineering, medical, transportation, Base Honor Guard and family support.

We also had unit Airmen working hard the day of the event. Civil engineering provided assistance in moving heavy equipment as well as provided electrical power and hook-ups, vehicle maintenance made repairs to the Tops in Blue tractor and trailer, recruiting, mission support, student flight and some security forces personnel assisted in getting things organized and provided labor. Maintenance and other security forces members provided traffic control and event security. Medical personnel provided medical support (including special support from Major [Doc] Adams' civilian office.) The Base Honor Guard presented the colors and public affairs covered it all. Thanks to all for your help and support in making this event a great success.

And we had a few that went above and beyond (as usual.) These Airmen were
there from start to finish on Friday. And by finish, I'm talking past 2:00 a.m. Saturday

Those individuals were Chief Master Sgt. Ray Colella 171 CES, Chief Master Sgt. Charlie Thomas 171 ARW, Senior Master Sgt. John McCoy 171 LRS, Master Sgt. Missie Dubiel 171 FSS, Master Sgt. Rick Sangricco 171 CES, Master Sgt. Al Kutschbaugh 171 CES, Master Sgt. Mark Nicolia 171 CES, Tech. Sgt. Lou Ramsey 171 LRS, Tech. Sgt. Craig Trimble 171 LRS and Staff Sgt. Jeff Cochran 171 CES. A special thanks for your hard work and dedication!

I know that the Airmen of Tops in Blue were very appreciative of all the help and support provided by the 171 ARW. From all of the little things to the big things we helped with, it made a great impression on them. Once again, I couldn't be prouder of our unit and our Airmen showing them what Pittsburgh hospitality is all about, and it gave us a chance to show off some of our own top performers.