Fairchild ALS dedicates schoolhouse to Shell 77 fallen crew member

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Anneliese Kaiser
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The 92nd Force Support Squadron Airman Leadership School dedicated their schoolhouse to Tech. Sgt. Herman ‘Tre’ Mackey III Aug. 6, 2021, who lost his life during the KC-135 Stratotanker crash, call sign Shell 77.


“Most of you know Sgt. Mackey and it’s no surprise to those of us that knew him that there is such overwhelming support and desire to enshrine his incredible legacy,” said Chief Master Sgt. Chris Rueckert, 92nd Operations Group superintendent, during the ceremony. “Today we gather to celebrate, memorialize and pay tribute to Sgt. Mackey by redesigning our Fairchild ALS as the Tech. Sgt. Herman Mackey Airmen Leadership School.”


Mackey was assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron with Capt. Mark ‘Tyler’ Voss and Capt. Victoria Pinckney, and all three lost their lives in the aircraft crash while deployed in Kyrgyzstan, May 3, 2013.


“The loss of Shell 77 was a sad day for Fairchild,” said Col. Cassius Bentley, 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander. “We lost some great Airmen and want to make sure their legacy is enduring, and dedicating Fairchild’s Airman Leadership School is another step in that direction. ALS fosters an environment for exceptional Airmen to take their career to the next step and become non-commissioned officers. I know that Tech Sgt. Mackey was an outstanding example of what an NCO should look like and well-deserving of this dedication.”


Mackey is described through personal accounts as a leader by action and someone who put others first.


“When it comes to honorable examples, I really can’t think of another person that displays this, through the actions of just what the history has written about him,” said Rebekah Horton, 92nd ARW historian. “By dedicating this building to him, everyone who comes through ALS after this will be able to look at his name and research what happened to him, read the stories and personal accounts about him and the type of person he was, and hopefully develop their leadership style in a similar way to his, because it was evident that he was the type of leader the Air Force needed.”


Dedicating the ALS schoolhouse to Mackey continues his legacy of leadership for the next generation of Airmen and pays tribute to the person also known to many as “Tre.”


“Tre was the guy that always made a grand entrance and would light up the room with his humor and a smile,” said Megan, Mackey’s widow. “He had no enemies and was always there to lend a hand to anyone who needed it.”


“He was always quick to make you smile,” said then-Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Gomez, who was a friend and co-worker. “Everyone was a friend to him, and no one was a stranger.”


ALS is designed to teach the next generation of leaders professional military education to enhance the enlisted Airmen experience by empowering them and teaching them to lead by example.


“Currently, only 27 of the 67 ALS’s in the Air Force are named after extraordinary people,” said Rueckert. “Among these Airmen are five medal of honor recipients, one Air Force cross recipient, six of the 19 Chief Master Sergeants of the Air Force, the first female chief master sergeant in the Air Force, five Airmen who paid the ultimate price, and 10 others who made considerable contributions to the enlisted force. Today, Sgt. Mackey will be the 28th honoree on this list of giants deserving such rare recognition.”