Getting Personal: Airman's work at Lakenheath is a matter of faith
Stars and Stripes March 8, 2006
Sgt. Michael C. Chin is an eight-year veteran of the Air Force. The 31-year-old Florida native served all over the globe before arriving at RAF Lakenheath, the largest American installation in the United Kingdom, to serve at the base chapel. We caught up with him at the 48th Fighter Wing house of worship.
So, what do you do here?
I provide administrative support and ensure the worship services run smoothly. I also help with support groups and ministries.
How many people attend the chapel?
About 1,000 a week.
Does the church offer different services?
Yes. It offers several for different denominations.
Did you choose this job field or did it choose you?
There was a shortage of this kind of work when I was coming in. They walked around asking if anybody wanted this field. I’ve done it all eight years now.
Do you have a family here with you?
My wife and I have two children, with one on the way.
Where else have you served?
I wanted to travel, and I have gotten all over. Kadena Air Base in Japan, Eglin Air Base in Florida and Rhein Main Air Base in Germany. I love it, the different cultures, getting to travel.
Have you been deployed?
I was in Kyrgyzstan in 2002 for several months. It was a great experience. I ensured Air Force personnel had the ability to practice their faith and also got to visit orphanages to perform outreach. I’ve also been deployed to Korea.
Looking forward to doing it again?
I love deploying. You’re more one-on-one with the troops. It’s a different spiritual need because it’s a more stressful time.
So you’re happy with your career?
It’s been good. I plan to stay in 20 [years] and retire military.
And you want to stay in the church?
It’s a great way to help people and reach out and touch the community.
— Bryan Mitchell