Longest serving firefighter in Air Force to retire

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Michael J. Kelly
  • 132d Wing Public Affairs

Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Whisler, 132d Fire and Emergency Services chief, is set to retire in October 2020. Whisler has served 41 years in the Air Force making him the longest serving firefighter in the entire Air Force.

Whisler enlisted in the Missouri Air National Guard on 1979. Whisler started work for the Missouri Air National Guard as a state employee rising to the position of Assistant Chief of Training. In October 1996 Chief Whisler enlisted in the Iowa Air National Guard and was assigned as the Fire Chief. During this time he deployed to a variety of locations including Panama, Germany, England, Wisconsin, and Hawaii. Chief Whisler was elected to the Air National Guard Fire Chiefs Association in 1999 and has held many positions within the association including president. Since 1991 he has been an instructor for the Air National Guard Bureau, instructing over 2100 chief fire officers throughout the Air National Guard.

“To speak about his legacy, Chief Whisler’s accolades, achievements and accomplishments are too numerous to count, and even more importantly are the number of lives he has impacted,” said Lt. Col. Robert Devens, 132d Civil Engineer Squadron commander. “He has literally mentored thousands of Airmen and his influence in Fire and Emergency Services is known in all fifty states and several countries.” 

 In 2002, Whisler deployed to Qatar as the Fire Chief and was appointed to the Command Chief position, for the 64th Air Expeditionary Group (AEG), Qatar in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. Again Whisler was deployed to Ali Al Salem, Kuwait as the Fire Chief for the 386th ECES in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Whisler led two teams of fire officers to Kosovo helping to evaluate the Kosovo Security Forces incident command and emergency response procedures. In 2018, Whisler deployed in support of Operation FREEDOM SENTINAL to the Republic of Djibouti Africa, where he worked as the Fire Chief and Senior Enlisted Leaders for the 870th Air Expeditionary Squadron.

Whisler said at his retirement ceremony in September that he knows the current Airmen of the 132d FES will continue on the legacy of excellence and go on to do great things.

Whisler is set to officially retire from the 132d Wing in October 2020.