Incoming Command Chief Envisions Opportunities for Wing

  • Published
  • By Airman Victoria Nelson

PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. – Chief Master Sgt. Matthew S. Heiman, the new face of the 157th Air Refueling Wing enlisted force, seeks to encourage the development of all Airmen and usher in the KC-46 Pegasus.

Chief Heiman will replace retiring Command Chief Master Sgt. James A. Lawrence in May.

“I am honored and I can say in my career I never thought I would have the opportunity to become the command chief,” said Heiman, who has served 29 years in the 157th ARW. “I have approached all of the roles in my career with a genuine effort and this role will not be any different.”

Col. James Ryan, the 157th ARW commander, reflected that he was looking for an individual who relates well to Airmen and who understands the leadership philosophy and culture we have as an organization in the wing.

“I cannot think of anyone more influential at this time,” said Ryan. “Matt has the respect of our Airmen already and now we have an opportunity to show his talents to the entire wing.”

As wing command chief, Heiman plans to focus on the development of Airmen both professionally and educationally, and to encourage Airmen to seize every opportunity in the development of their career.

“I hope Airmen capitalize on as many opportunities as they can in their career,” said Heiman. “It’s great to become a subject matter expert in what you do and feel comfort in doing that one thing very well. But, it is equally important to step outside of your comfort zone, try new challenges and push yourself to the next level. That will enable you to become a better, well-rounded leader.”

Understanding the impact and the implementation of the KC-46, Heiman is excited for the future of the wing and the new aircraft.

“I see opportunities for the wing to be recognized in an even greater capacity around the globe,” said Heiman. “Bringing KC-46 to Pease is unprecedented. This will be an amazing opportunity and we have to put our best foot forward. We will be the wing that is looked up to, we will set the standard for other guard units and I am very excited for this challenge.”

Heiman has worked with the KC-135 aircraft since he joined the wing as a member of pnuedraulics in March of 1988. He believes the KC-46 will be a way for the entire base to contribute to the success of the wing.

 “It will be an introduction of more people, infrastructure and aircraft on the ramp,” said Heiman. “Every group in this wing will be representing this change.”

Heiman has served more than 30 years in the Air Force with experience in many different career fields. He has served in Aircraft In-Flight Refueling & Pneudraulics, Repair and Reclamation, Isochronal Inspection, Quality Assurance, Education & Training, and as a flight chief in the Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

“I have made it a point to try many different jobs throughout the course of my career,” he said. “I did that purposefully because the more experiences you have, the more you can share with other people and their development both personally and professionally.”

Ryan believes Heiman will be dedicated to helping and influencing the all of the Airmen at Pease.

“He has got his heart and soul in this wing,” said Ryan. “And that means a lot.”