F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --
Col. Lloyd Buzzell is the new vice commander for 20th Air Force and the deputy commander of Task Force 214. Buzzell was previously stationed at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, and has joined Warren to continue supporting the ICBM mission.
Twentieth Air Force and Task Force 214 are responsible for the nation’s ICBM force. The command includes three operational missile wings and the 377th Air Base Wing at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, which all provide critical support to the nuclear operation.
As vice commander, Buzzell serves as the designated successor and principal advisor to the 20th AF commander, Maj. Gen. Anthony Cotton.
Q: Where were you born and where did you grow up?
“I grew up in the Northeast. I was born in Battle Creek, Michigan; but we moved to New Hampshire when I was around seven years old. While in high school there, I met my wife. We’re childhood sweethearts and have been together 36 years.”
Q: What led you to the Air Force?
“I enlisted in 1984 and was stationed at Pease AFB, New Hampshire. My goal when I joined was to get an education. My father had just passed away, and a technical sergeant who knew the family asked me how my life was going. I told him I had trouble getting an education, and he helped me along the process of joining the Air Force. I ended up picking personnel as a job, so I joined what is now called the military personnel section. That’s what I did for over four years. Then I went to ROTC for two years and became a missileer.”
Q: Why did you decide to become an officer?
“I wanted to do something operational. I looked across the board thinking, ‘What can I do, where can I go,’ and missiles was the place I wanted to go. I had done the support role, and I wanted to fit in operationally and do the mission. My first base was Malmstrom AFB, Montana, and I’ve been a missileer since 1991.”
Q: What has been your favorite Air Force memory?
“It’s hard to say what my best memory is, I have more than 30 years worth. I guess it would be all of those milestones— graduating from basic training, becoming an NCO, commissioning or putting on my first crew uniform. Being able to celebrate it all with my family also made it that much better.”
Q: As the new vice commander, what can the Airmen of 20th Air Force expect from you?
“I support Gen. Cotton, the commander of 20th Air Force and Task Force 214, to ensure we can be as efficient as possible. We support the commander who leads our 10,000 plus people in the field, and it’s important to do that correctly. His vision is that we are moving forward and I want to be a part of that. I want to have a positive influence on our future as we move forward. All of the mentoring and professional development is extremely important to me. One of my biggest priorities is to develop Airmen. I want to make sure I’m involved in that.”
Q: What do you expect from the Airmen of 20th?
“The boss has four Cs: compliance, competence, composure and commitment. Those four Cs really resonate, and I think that’s because it’s based on our core values. If there is anything at all that I drumbeat, it is our core values, because everything returns to that. You can be the greatest person in the world at your job, but if you are not adhering to our core values, it's going to create problems. Those are really the foundation of everything it takes to be the best Airman. Everyone should follow the core values, and the four Cs are important.”
Q: What is your leadership philosophy?
“Understand the commander’s intent and let people carry out that intent. We want people to feel as an American, worker and Airman, that they have the power to make decisions. Who else can make a better decision than the person who is there. I want to help empower our Airmen.”
Q: How do you feel about being at Warren?
“The base is fantastic, the people are extremely nice and the community has blown me away as well. It’s really nice to have served my country for so long because I can look back and say, ‘Wow, I built all of this behind me, and now I am really enjoying this and have an effect on all of this.’ I think everyone can make a difference, but I really enjoy being part of the Air Force and the base. I am enjoying returning to F.E. Warren.”
Q: What do you look forward to most about being with the 20th?
"This position will allow me to directly influence the Airmen who execute the ICBM mission, and that opportunity excites me. The 20th Air Force is responsible for approximately 10,600 people across six different installations, and we are committed to serving those Airmen in a way that inspires pride in our mission and excellence in its execution. We are currently investing in our Airmen by offering a number of professional development opportunities which target members of different career fields. Our intention is to further develop our Airmen, and to allow them to personally experience how their mission contributes to national security."