YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- There is a lot to be said about an individual so assiduous, they catch the attention of one First Sergeant. Being on an entire group of shirts’ radars is taking dedication to the next level. The Diamond Sharp Award is a reflection of that hard work and keenness in getting the job done.
The impact of COVID-19 currently has the whole world implementing safety precautions, stay-at-home orders and country-wide travel restrictions.
Japan now requires all Status of Forces Agreement members arriving to the country to go on restriction of movement status at the nearest military instillation.
Since Yokota Air Base is the main hub for service members arriving into the country, before heading to their next location, they have to complete ROM at Yokota for 14 days. This has created a road block for the 18th Wing; the only way to get to Okinawa is through Tokyo.
This is where Mr. Andy Litchfield, 374th Force Support Squadron motor pool manager, shined through, coordinating with Kadena’s Emergency Operations Center. He collected all the information for arrivals in country and secured transportation and lodging for over 2,000 personnel. Andy also worked with the corresponding First Sergeants to ensure members were supported during their stay in Yokota.
“I just try to put myself in the same place that the person I’m helping is in,” said Litchfield. “If I was in that position, what would I want someone to do for me? What kind of questions would I have, and I try to provide that same service to the member that’s out there.”
Recently, the First Sergeant Council voted Andy the winner of the Diamond Sharp Award for his work and coordination with the 18th Wing at Kadena Air Base, ensuring their new members arrive in country in accordance to Japan’s new travel procedures.
“Mr. Litchfield has the heart of a First Sergeant,” said Master Sgt. Teresa Tyler, 374th Force Support Squadron First Sergeant. “He takes care of every traveler, Air Force, Navy, Army, contractors, civilians and many more, in any status, any situation, in and out of Japan.”
Thanks to Andy Litchfield, many personnel have made it onto a rotator, completing their journey to Kadena and commenced the next chapter in their military careers.
Having people with mindsets like Mr. Litchfield is one of the many reasons why the Air Force is able to excel in its missions in the face of adversity.