Coronavirus in Oklahoma: On the frontlines at Tinker Air Force Base Staff reports Published: Wed, May 13, 2020 11:23 AM shares email Donna Conover is a budget analyst and resource adviser in the 448th Supply Chain Management Wing’s Financial Management Directorate. She has 42 years of service and is from Del City. In her free time, Conover enjoys quilting and walking and describes herself as a foodie. As a budget analyst, Conover supports and manages the contract repair dollars for the 848th Supply Chain Management Group. She said what she likes most about her job is the people. “I work with the smartest people,” Conover said. [PHOTO PROVIDED] Tinker Air Force Base is highlighting its frontline workers. Related Photos Chong Smith is a cashier at the Tinker Base Exchange and has worked there for 12 years. Originally from South Korea, Smith now lives in Edmond and enjoys listening to music. Smith says she loves working at the Tinker Base Exchange and regularly promotes the Military Star Card to her customers...+3+6 Chong Smith is a cashier at the Tinker Base Exchange and has worked there for 12 years. Originally from South Korea, Smith now lives in Edmond and enjoys listening to music. Smith says she loves working at the Tinker Base Exchange and regularly promotes the Military Star Card to her customers and helps them with a smile on her face. [KELLY WHITE/USAF] Mike Garrett is an emergency management specialist in Tinker Air Force Base’s Emergency Operations Center. He has worked in the EOC for over seven years and is retired from the Air Force. The Winnsboro, Louisiana, native enjoys playing basketball and doing yard work in his spare time. His main duties include working as the unit security manager and overseeing logistics and operations of the EOC. He says the best part of his job is “the people I work with and helping people learn about chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives when they're deploying.” [PHOTO PROVIDED]Staff Sgt. Kimberly Kepple serves in the 72nd Security Forces Squadron. The Fayetteville, North Carolina, native enjoys reading and watching TV in her spare time. Providing security to the base and patrolling make up the main duties of her job, but she says the best part is interacting with people. [PHOTO PROVIDED] 1st Lt. James Dillard, a certified physician’s assistant with the 72nd Operational Medical Readiness Squadron, has served in the U.S. Air Force for one year. When the Springfield, Virginia, native isn’t working, you can find him playing guitar, working out, running, hunting, fishing or doing anything outdoors. Part of his duties for the COVID-19 response is taking care of patients and screening for COVID-19. He’s also keeping up with his regular duties, such as handling his empanelment, keeping up with lab results, taking care of medicines for patients and answering questions as best as he can. Dillard says being able to improve people’s suffering and quality of life just by talking with them or by diagnosing and treating a problem is the most rewarding part of his job. [PHOTO PROVIDED]Airman 1st Class I'Munique Green serves as a vehicle search area member with the 72nd Security Forces Squadron. She has been in the Air Force since September 2018 and is from St. Petersburg, Florida. In her off-duty time, Green enjoys playing basketball, swimming, watching movies, reading and sleeping. Her duties at the Truck Gate entry control point include processing commercial and contractor vehicles through the search area, assuring the driver’s Bill of Lading is correct, making sure vehicles are parked well to fit inside, maintaining safety and security inside the overwatch area and making sure barriers are in their correct positioning. Green said one of her favorite parts about her job is knowing she has an important role in keeping the installation safe and that security depends on her and her team. But, the best part? “I’m in the Air Force!” [PHOTO PROVIDED] Linda Ewings, the installation deployment officer with the 72nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, has 40 years of combined active duty and civil service. Originally from Kane, Pennsylvania, Ewings enjoys reading, watching movies and watching "Survivor." She is also a grandmother of five. As the IDO, Ewings is the chief of the Plans and Integration Section and is responsible for the execution of Air and Space Expeditionary Forces Management, In-Garrison Expeditionary Site Planning and Installation Deployment Planning. The section is charged with training both unit deployment managers and commanders on a variety of programs to ensure the readiness and successful deployment of assigned Airmen. Ewings also maintains the overall responsibility of making sure planning and integration War Reserve Materiel management, base/expeditionary support planning, sustainment, redeployment, cargo and logistics command and control are successful, which leads to a seamless deployment execution. “I enjoy the challenge of working with personnel at every level across the base to coordinate all of the deployment and redeployments actions required for the success of Tinker Airmen,” she said. “There’s never a dull moment.” Ewings said COVID-19 has altered the way her section operates. “As the IDO, there is a level of coordination and oversight for every deployment and redeployment; however, executing the first-ever deployment of personnel with an Exception to Policy waiver to Central Command and executing one of the first redeployment of personnel from CENTCOM has required a much higher level of coordination and interaction with sections across Tinker,” she said. [PHOTO PROVIDED] Jacquline “Jae” Grinston is a training specialist in the 72nd Force Support Squadron. Grinston has 22 years of combined service, military and civilian. A highlight of her military career happened in 2000 when she was stationed at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. She was a member of the Honor Guard team assigned to provide military honors at the funeral for Tom Landry, legendary coach of the Dallas Cowboys. In her free time, the Forest, Mississippi, native enjoys traveling, shopping and spending time with her family. As a training specialist, Grinston’s job is to organically develop curriculum and deliver instruction that promotes, supports and enhances every employee of Team Tinker. “What I love most about my job are the relationships I build that extend beyond the classroom,” she says. Because her job has always required face-to-face interaction, COVID-19 caused a lot of uncertainty which made for a very difficult adjustment at first. “I’ve been blessed to work with a group of amazing people,” Grinston said. “We worked as a team, along with our partners, to ensure we continue the mission of onboarding Team Tinker’s greatest asset.” Since the implementation of HPCON C, the Force Development team has conducted four New Employee Orientation courses, onboarding a total of 217 new employees. Of those, 148 employees were on-boarded 100% virtually. [PHOTO PROVIDED] Tech. Sgt. Crystal Carr is the lead for military pay in the 72nd Comptroller Squadron. Originally from Florence, South Carolina, Carr has served in the U.S. Air Force for 12 years. Tinker is her fifth assignment, which includes one deployed to Al Udeid, Quatar, in 2014. In her current position, Carr oversees military active duty debts, separations and retirements, the leave web program, deployed entitlements, accessions (members without an active pay record), audits, a host of monthly military reports and more. When she’s not working, Carr loves spending time with her family. Her son is her pride and joy. She loves to read, eat, being outdoors, snowboarding, fishing and attending school. Because she loves to travel the world, she is really not enjoying having to shelter-in-place. However, she does love her job at Tinker. “Every assignment has been different thus far,” she said. “I have learned a lot about myself, peers and Airmen since I have been here. Every day, I feel satisfied knowing that I rendered a customer with the best service possible. Seeing customers leave our office with a sense of knowing that their records will be updated in a timely manner makes my heart happy.” The sergeant said her job as a non-commissioned officer-in-charge is to take care of her Airmen each and every day. “It makes me happy when they feel comfortable to come to me with questions and I have an answer to help them navigate a current issue,” she said. “Without my team I wouldn’t be who I am today. They constantly challenge me to be a better individual. To answer the question, my favorite part about my job is interacting with customers and my Airmen.” [PHOTO PROVIDED] Lisa McMorris is the general manager for the three barber shops on base, including the Tinker Base Exchange, Bldg. 230's flightline shop and inside the Navy Shopette. McMorris, from Fort Dix, New Jersey, has served for 12 years at Tinker, six of those in the GM position. Her duties include providing haircuts for active duty personnel and retirees, while running the business as efficiently and safely as possible. "I have the utmost respect for the military and we have a big job to take care of the servicemen so they can take care of us," she says. [PHOTO PROVIDED] Donna Conover is a budget analyst and resource adviser in the 448th Supply Chain Management Wing’s Financial Management Directorate. She has 42 years of service and is from Del City. In her free time, Conover enjoys quilting and walking and describes herself as a foodie. As a budget analyst, Conover supports and manages the contract repair dollars for the 848th Supply Chain Management Group. She said what she likes most about her job is the people. “I work with the smartest people,” Conover said. [PHOTO PROVIDED] Comments CommentsCoronavirus in Oklahoma: On the frontlines at Tinker Air Force Base × Commenting on NewsOK requires a NewsOK Pro or Oklahoman subscription. 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