104th Fighter Wing Deploys to Germany In Support of Total Force Integration Training

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Loni Kingston
  • 104th Fighter Wing

By Senior Airman Loni Kingston, 104th FW Public Affairs

RAMSTEIN Germany - Approximately 100 members of the 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Air National Guard Base (ANGB), Westfield, Mass., deployed for training to Ramstein and Spangdahlem Air Bases May 12, 2016 for two weeks to train side-by-side with active duty counterparts.

Guardsman, while deployed from home station, will receive focused, practical Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) training to maintain and improve skill levels required for combat deployment.

"Operating in a different environment and possibly one we would be in during combat operations is a good training opportunity," said 104th Fighter Wing Commander Col. James J. Keefe. 

Integration training is important to all Air Force components because it helps to streamline procedures and practices while offering Airmen the opportunity to manage assets that may not be available at every installation.

"There are so many different warehouses across the Air Force and there are a lot of different ways of doing things, it is good to have uniformity to make sure processes are done correctly from here to Massachusetts," said inventory supervisor, Staff Sgt. Andrew Lomax, Spangdahlem AB.

Guardsmen from the 104th FW have been exposed to many training opportunities in Germany that they have not seen since their formal AFSC technical school. 

"Airmen from the 104th FW Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) are learning how to process do-it-yourself and permanent change of station moves," said 104th FW Force Support Squadron Commander Maj. Dean Lambert.  The National Guard does not often get these types of opportunities due to our specific stateside mission, said Lambert.

Installation Deployment Manager from the 104th FW, Maj. Wendy Kiepke said, "At Barnes ANGB we do not have a hot pit refueling system.  There is not a need for us to have one, yet knowing how to perform hot pit refueling is part of our LRS Airmens' AFSC."

Assimilation training is realistic, offering participants the chance to get out of the office and into the field.

"This deployment gives Airmen a bigger picture,  getting away from a small Air National Guard base that has 1200 people to an active duty base that has 1000s of people," said 104th FW 1st Sgt. Thomas Moriarty. "This training mission offers real world experience in an environment that Airmen may be deployed to in the upcoming years," said Moriarty.

This deployment has reach to support other 104th FW members who are currently deployed to Bulgaria. There are currently LRS Airman from Barnes ANGB working with the active-duty outbound shipping area in transporting aircraft parts to our deployed location.

Spangdahlem AB, "is providing support to our deployed operations and maintenance personnel and we are getting a chance to work with the Airmen who are supporting our troops," said Maj. Kiepke

The Air Force National Guard's mission is to meet 21st century challenges by proactively shaping our future with combat-ready, adaptable Airmen at our core. Together with our partners we will provide the capabilities necessary to guard America at home and defend freedom worldwide.

Total force integration training conducted at Ramstein and Spangdahlem offers the 104th FW the opportunity to successfully ascertain the Air Force National Guard mission and seamlessly assimilate with their active duty counterparts.