By Airman 1st Class Mercedes Muro
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Danny Gregg has been to many places. From the southwestern parts of America to Japan, the 19th Maintenance Squadron contractor and test cell lead has seen it all.
However, none of the places he has been to have struck a chord in his heart and his career like Little Rock Air Force Base.
“I’ve been here since 1988,” said Gregg. “I liked it here so much I made it my base of preference after five years and haven’t left since then.”
Gregg decided to settle down near Little Rock AFB because he felt there were better opportunities for himself and his family.
“Little Rock AFB has so much to offer,” said Gregg. “People treat you a lot better here than others. It’s secure for me. I can relate to everybody.”
Gregg, a Longview, Texas, native, began his journey here when he joined in the U.S. Army in 1974 as an armor crewman for M60 and M48 tanks.
“I joined the Army because my dad was in,” said Gregg. “I didn’t like it very much because you had to stay outside all of the time.”
After a brief two years in the Army, Gregg decided to join a different military branch. Gregg’s father worked with a chief master sergeant, who influenced Gregg to enlist with the Air Force.
“The Air Force is exciting,” said Gregg. “There is so much excitement and places to go. And I liked the work load.”
While serving in the Air Force for 23 years, Gregg served in a variety of assignments as a test engine mechanic on different engines such as the TF-39, T-76, UH-1N and T-56. After he retired in February 1999 as a master sergeant, Gregg has continued working as a T-56 mechanic under a Kay and Associate contract.
Although Gregg has worked on engines for over 30 years, there hasn’t been much change in his work.
“Mechanics don’t really change,” said Gregg. “I’m still doing the same thing. But since I’m a civilian now, I follow different guidelines and policies. I still work to achieve Air Force standards, but I follow different policies.”
Despite the little changes he has seen working on the T-56 engine, Gregg still receives a lot of satisfaction from working on the engine.
“I take a lot of pride in helping make an aircraft go,” said Gregg. “It’s a good feeling to accomplish something like that. Also, in my career, working at the test cell has always been given to elite personnel. I am thankful and proud to be one of those chosen.”
During his time at Little Rock AFB, Gregg has seen the base evolve into what it is today.
“I’ve seen a lot of changes,” said Gregg. “I was here when the Commissary changed, when the Base Exchange moved and when the Fitness Center was remodeled,” said Gregg. “I’ve even seen all the buildings on the flight line change. When I first got here, Hangar 250 was pink. I was also here when the buildings were all painted brown.”
From working as a volunteer in the Special Olympics to meeting former President Bill Clinton, Gregg has made personal and professional memories in his life here.
“When I achieved senior noncommissioned officer status, I was promoted on the test cell pad,” said Gregg. “I work on this pad every day, and I’ve been here ever since.”
Although Gregg has viewed the base change, he has also seen himself change throughout the years. After having a heart attack while coming to work a couple of years ago, Gregg began to have a different outlook on life.
“I’m still a happy-go-lucky guy,” said Gregg. “I respect people more. I try to boost them up and not degrade them. I try to bring them up instead of tearing them down.”
Gregg has have served his country for a total of 40 years as a military member and a civilian. Without the guidance and stability of the military, he feels he wouldn’t have become the person he is today.
“The military is my life,” said Gregg. “It’s given me the chance to advance my education and my career. I’ve learned the dos and don’ts, the meaning of life, the Golden Rule and everything else in between. I was born into the military and, here I am, still in the military.”