Barksdale Gains Eight-Year-Old Crew Chief

Eight-year-old Hunter Tomlin became an honorary B-52 crew chief at Barksdale AFB, La, according to a base release. Hunter—who has neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that attacks the body’s nerves and tissues—had the opportunity to meet with crew chiefs from the 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and Air Force Reserve Command’s 307th AMXS on April 24. “I learned about Hunter a few weeks ago,” said TSgt. Mark Haines, 2nd AMXS crew chief, in Barkdale’s April 24 release. “I decided that I wanted to do something for him, so I got my hands on this and made it happen,” he added. Hunter’s parents were in on the surprise, and drove from Marshall, Tex., to Barksdale. Hunter “was so surprised when we pulled up to the gate,” said his mother, Amanda Tomlin. Hunter received his own uniform with his name stitched on it, a framed poster of a B-52 autographed by crew chiefs, and a plaque recognizing him as an honorary crew chief. He even had the opportunity to sit in the cockpit of the B-52. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Hunter’s mother. “This is something he will never forget.” (Barksdale report by SSgt. Katherine Holt)