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Vandenberg welcomes new command chief

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Chief Master Sgt. Suzanne Talbert, 30th Space Wing command chief, speaks about her vision for Vandenberg and past assignments here Wednesday, Sept 21, 2011. The Syracuse, N. Y., native spent her last assignment at Misawa Air Base, Japan, and is looking forward to getting started with the next chapter of her career here at Vandenberg. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Levi Riendeau)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Chief Master Sgt. Suzanne Talbert, 30th Space Wing command chief, speaks about her vision for Vandenberg and past assignments here Wednesday, Sept 21, 2011. The Syracuse, N. Y., native spent her last assignment at Misawa Air Base, Japan, and is looking forward to getting started with the next chapter of her career here at Vandenberg. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Levi Riendeau)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Chief Master Sgt. Suzanne Talbert, 30th Space Wing command chief, speaks about her vision for Vandenberg and past assignments here Wednesday, Sept 21, 2011. The Syracuse, N. Y., native spent her last assignment at Misawa Air Base, Japan, and is looking forward to getting started with the next chapter of her career here at Vandenberg. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Levi Riendeau)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Chief Master Sgt. Suzanne Talbert, 30th Space Wing command chief, speaks about her vision for Vandenberg and past assignments here Wednesday, Sept 21, 2011. The Syracuse, N. Y., native spent her last assignment at Misawa Air Base, Japan, and is looking forward to getting started with the next chapter of her career here at Vandenberg. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Levi Riendeau)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Chief Master Sgt. Suzanne Talbert, 30th Space Wing command chief, speaks about her vision for Vandenberg and past assignments here Wednesday, Sept 21, 2011. The Syracuse, N. Y., native spent her last assignment at Misawa Air Base, Japan, and is looking forward to getting started with the next chapter of her career here at Vandenberg. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Levi Riendeau)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Chief Master Sgt. Suzanne Talbert, 30th Space Wing command chief, speaks about her vision for Vandenberg and past assignments here Wednesday, Sept 21, 2011. The Syracuse, N. Y., native spent her last assignment at Misawa Air Base, Japan, and is looking forward to getting started with the next chapter of her career here at Vandenberg. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Levi Riendeau)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Chief Master Sgt. Suzanne Talbert, 30th Space Wing command chief, speaks about her vision for Vandenberg and past assignments here Wednesday, Sept 21, 2011. The Syracuse, N. Y., native spent her last assignment at Misawa Air Base, Japan, and is looking forward to getting started with the next chapter of her career here at Vandenberg. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Levi Riendeau)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Chief Master Sgt. Suzanne Talbert, 30th Space Wing command chief, speaks about her vision for Vandenberg and past assignments here Wednesday, Sept 21, 2011. The Syracuse, N. Y., native spent her last assignment at Misawa Air Base, Japan, and is looking forward to getting started with the next chapter of her career here at Vandenberg. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Levi Riendeau)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Team Vandenberg welcomed the 30th Space Wing's new command chief master sergeant here in mid-September.

Chief Master Sgt. Suzanne Talbert, a Syracuse, N.Y., native, joined Team V after spending the last two years at Misawa Air Base, Japan.

"This is my first experience with Space Command," said Talbert. "I can't wait to meet the Airmen on base and get to know every one of their jobs; I would rather be out there learning that than sitting in my office."

Talbert's love for the Air Force is evident by the way she speaks about her time in the military. She has made it a point in her career to be as hands-on as possible as a supervisor, she said.

Her passion for the military began in the 1980s after visiting her sister, who was in the Army at the time.

"I saw the opportunity to travel," she said. "After 21 years of being in New York, I felt it was time to get out and see the world."

After graduating with an Associate of Applied Science in criminal justice from Herkimer Community College in N.Y., Talbert joined the Air Force as a supply troop.

Her first assignment after completing Basic Military Training was to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan. Talbert's intention to travel the world took her to eight overseas assignments, encompassing 21 of 24 years of her Air Force career.

"There is not one base or job that I did not love," said Talbert. "Every base had a unique quality and memories that I could never let go of."

Throughout her time in the Air Force, Talbert has had many supportive supervisors who have encouraged her in developing her career. She is enthusiastic about sharing that experience with Airmen at Vandenberg.

"I believe that Airmen will be successful in the Air Force if they keep that love for the job," she said. "I feel that job enrichment is an important part of that."

The new chief aims to get Airmen into professional development opportunities like Airmen Leadership School and the Noncommissioned Officer Academy in a timely manner so as to not hold up career progression.

"Today's Airmen amaze me with how capable they are at our younger ranks," said Talbert. "It is important that Airmen get the support they need to continue their education and personal development to be able to develop the Airmen who are coming up behind them."

Talbert joined the Air Force in 1987 and spent the majority of her career as a supply troop. Taking advantage of Air Force opportunities, she has traveled the world during her career and was stationed in Texas, Japan, The United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Germany.

In addition to her many overseas assignments, the chief has been deployed to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Afghanistan.

Now that she is stationed here, Talbert is realizing how her deployment experiences have had a direct connection to Vandenberg.

"In the time that I have been here, I have gained insight into how integrated Vandenberg is in helping the war fighter," she said. "I am learning more about how the mission here directly supports the rest of the Air Force."

The mother of two married her husband Teddy, an Air Force veteran, in 1998 while stationed at Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany. Together, they are the parents of Mýa, 8, and René, 10.

Talbert notes the importance of a connection between the military community and their families.

"Vandenberg has that same family-oriented feeling that I had overseas," she said. "It is important to me to know that my family and I are connected in a community on base, and I knew that this was going to be a perfect fit for my family."

With all the hard work she has done in her career, Talbert makes it a point to find time for fun with outdoor activities like traveling and sporting events.

"My husband and I are outdoor people," said Talbert. "My father taught me to hunt, and we love anything to do with the outdoors."

Talbert said her love of the outdoors comes from her northeastern upbringing and, with that, came a love of sports.

"Northeastern football teams are my favorite," said the chief. "I love my New York teams."

As a fan of all sports, Talbert especially loves playing soccer. She grew up playing the sport and played on teams during her time at Ramstein. She is now devoted to coaching her girls in their sports aspirations.

Talbert may have hung up her cleats on team sports for now but is not opposed to a friendly match if any Airmen see fit to challenger her.

"I may be sore the next day, but I am always ready for a friendly rivalry," she said.

Talbert hopes to be accessible to Airmen during her time here, whether it is by lending an ear in her office or on the playing field.

"I would like to thank those who have already welcomed me to Vandenberg," she said. "I really look forward to being out there and meeting the Airmen."