Services Airmen recall accomplishments from 2021, 2020

  • Published
  • By Mr. Randall Burlingame
  • 104th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Sustainment services Airmen in the 104th Force Support Squadron spent the last two years honing their skills and providing members of the 104th Fighter Wing with a wide array of capabilities.

The Airmen provide the wing with culinary services, lodging operations, outdoor recreational activities, fitness programs, mortuary affairs, readiness, and the fatality search and recovery team.

Master Sgt. Lauren Gallagher, 104th Force Support Squadron services specialist, said that all of these capabilities were flexed over the two-year span and many of them are utilized on a regular basis. She said 2021 was especially productive for them.

“The Fatality Search and Recovery Team became 100% manned, which significantly increased our domestic operational capability,” said Gallagher. “Our deployed readiness training, to include mortuary and culinary downrange operations were greatly utilized in exercises and in real-world missions. All events that occurred during the year went above and beyond our expectations.”

Gallagher said one of the training highlights for 2021 was when FSRT received hands-on, instrumental training at the University of Tennessee Forensic Anthrophony Center. While at the Anthropologic Research Facility, also known as “the body farm”, Airmen learned about the identification of bones of burn victims, were exposed to donors, and trained in a controlled setting on how to identify stages of decomposition, biometrics, and moving of bodies.

“The body farm helped improve my capabilities as an Airman by allowing me to experience different scenarios that I may encounter in the real world- both military and civilian,” said Airman 1st Class Farah Pagnoni, 104th FSS base services specialist. “It allowed me to have that experience in a controlled environment and make errors, while also learning through the errors.”
FSRT also underwent a five-day, home station training exercise operating in contaminated/non- contaminated environments this year.

Fitness, recreational morale, and providing meals are three of the capabilities that are applied monthly by the services Airmen. Gallagher said COVID-19 and other unforeseen events kept them on their toes throughout the year and taught them how to adapt and overcome.

In order to stay concurrent with the state protocols, services had to provide alternate feeding locations and options to accommodate base personnel and apply aggressive modifications in fitness assessment policy to ensure leadership stays up to date with the most current changes.

“Being open to change, and not being afraid to take risks that will benefit the base community has to be continued in the future for mission success,” said Gallagher. “Repetitious training has confirmed its value throughout the year.”

Some of the repetitious training mentioned by Gallagher was performed by the culinary team.

“Twice this year, our culinary team assembled and operated their Single Pallet Expeditionary Kitchen, to provide real-world feeding to members of the 104th Fighter Wing,” said Gallagher. “The SPEK is a feeding platform that can support up to 1,000 personnel in a deployed setting.”

Pagnoni said the work the services team regularly puts in has shown her how much she is capable of.

“I enjoy what I do because it allows me to constantly push myself past what I thought I was/am capable of doing,” said Pagnoni. “The best part of my job is being provided the opportunity to constantly grow and learn, and having other members who guide me through any challenges I face.”
Gallagher said the services team has a lot planned for 2022, including Airmen preparing for their first deployment, joint training exercises, and working with the Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Taskforce to increase readiness performance. Gallagher said she finds the career field and work to be rewarding.

“In sustainment, you acquire skills that will benefit you in and out of the military,” said Gallagher. “Sustainment services works hard but the members make the work fun. We have a proud, diverse workforce, and we are always growing and learning from each other.”