Airlift squadron commander makes move to operations group-level position

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jay Ponder
  • 908th Airlift Wing
Though he's flown thousands of miles for two service branches, Lt. Col. Craig W. Drescher isn't going very far as he leaves his position as commander of the 357th Airlift Squadron.

He'll be moving just a few feet - into a new office and a new position - that of Deputy Operations Group Commander of the 908th Airlift Wing.

After graduating from Virginia Tech, Craig Drescher stepped right into leadership positions. He began teaching math and computer science at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh, N.C. where he had gone to school. He also coached basketball and baseball.

Drescher began his military career as a Naval aviator, where he learned to make quick, spur-of-the-moment decisions as a Radar Intercept Officer flying F-14A Tomcats from aircraft carriers.

Reminiscing about his unique combination of Navy and Air Force experiences, he said it helped to shape his leadership skills, because it gave him a broader view.
During his tenure as leader of the wing's flying squadron, he said his goal was to maintain the unit's level of excellence while getting more members of the squadron involved in day-to-day activities and special projects.

"I think we definitely improved in that over the last 40 months," he said. "My first goal was to keep everyone safe and healthy, and we've achieved that. We have many dedicated professionals who've been here a long time who carry on the excellent traditions of the squadron."

Drescher is qualified for his new position as he has completed two command tours; first as the 908th Operations Support Commander, and his recently completed tour.

Drescher has also worked for some of the active-duty organizations on Maxwell. He assisted the 42nd Airbase Wing when it helped Air University prepare for its compliance inspection.

"I got to see behind the curtain of how inspections work, of how our active-duty counterparts work on the base," he said.

His success didn't entirely come as a result of his own efforts. He complimented Lt. Col. Jeff Spencer and Lt. Col. Dave Hughes for doing "a fantastic job making sure the 357th has the best pilots in the Air Force," and credited Maj. Doug Hoskins for being instrumental with the pilot selection.

He also went on to praise each of the section chiefs for professionally ensuring their Airmen are excelling at all that they do while taking a moment to recognize the Air Reserve Technician team, led by Lt. Col. Stephen D. Catchings for running the squadron day in and day out. 

"I feel like I'm at the bottom of the inverted pyramid," he said of his new job. "Instead of just supporting 357th members, I'll be supporting the entire operations group."

He sees his major responsibilities as helping the group and its squadrons carry out their missions, making sure airmen have what they need to get their job done from ensuring that across the group, the squadrons are resourced properly, to ensuring Airmen are ready to go out the door. 

"What a great, great honor it's been to serve as the squadron commander of these incredible people." said Drescher, who was recently selected for promotion to colonel. "Being a part of the 908th for 10 years has just blown me away."