Columbus commander guided by quiet

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Associated Press

Posted on October 13, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Updated Saturday, Oct 13 at 10:00 AM

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — For Col. Jim Sears, the quiet style of leadership is the most rewarding.

Sears, the new wing commander of the 14th Flying Training Wing at Columbus Air Force Base, points to Gen. Colin Powell, Robert Olds, George Washington and Steve Jobs as his role models.

The Commercial Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/ReKWvj) Sears took over wing command in June from Col. Barre Seguin.

He says he places a high emphasis on integrity, service and excellence in working with staff and flight cadets at the base.

Many joined the Air Force after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he said.

As commander, Sears is in charge of more than 3,200 military, civilian and contract airmen, 234 aircraft and a budget in excess of $140 million. But Sears says his mind is always on the clock, trying to meet the rigorous schedule required to ensure every student pilot earns silver wings.

He's currently preparing the base for a combined unit inspection in February. During that time, base operations will be closely scrutinized for operational readiness.

It's a good chance to show off the things that make it "the greatest pilot training base" in the nation, he said.

The 12,000-foot runway, currently being resurfaced, is a point of pride. It is the longest runway in the state.

"That runway is a treasure and is one of the things that makes Columbus unique," Sears said.

Sears previously served as commander of the 20th Operations Group at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina. He was promoted to colonel in 2009.

He has with more than 3,100 flying hours, including combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. His awards include the Legion of Merit and Distinguished Flying Cross.

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Information from: The Commercial Dispatch, http://www.cdispatch.com

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