BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Massachusetts --
Members from the Logistics Readiness Squadron, Operations Flight, and Maintenance Group were among those departing for training at Patrick Air Force Base this week.
Training conducted at home is vital for a unit to accomplish its mission. The experience gained during Temporary Duty Assignments is often imperative to the wing’s success.
“The benefit is always about the training,” said Chief Master Sgt. James Burke, 104th LRS Logistics Specialist. “The more we do it the more experienced our people are going to get. If we do any type of operation where we have to act quickly in a mobilization, we’re just that much more ahead of the game, and that’s the experience level that individuals get when we do these little deployments. The more you do it the more experience you get, and the faster we can do it in a real world situation.”
Airmen from LRS get hands-on experience whether they go on the TDY or not. Among their many duties, they are in charge of cargo inspection, coordination with airlifters, manifesting of personnel, and cargo deployment.
“Getting the younger troops up to speed and really taking the responsibility and ownership of the processes is what these little deployments do help with, because you have the ability to give it to an airman and say ‘go do this,'" said Chief Master Sgt. Burke. “A supervisor can let somebody go out and get that experience and really start understanding the process, and then hopefully seeing how they can change it because that’s what it’s all about. If a process isn’t changing all the time then you’re not improving.”
Pilots and maintainers on need TDYs like this one to get them mission ready.
“This time of year we’re always fighting the weather to have good visibility which we need for basic fighter maneuvering, which is essentially dog fighting, and we’ll have more of that in Florida than we do up here currently,” said 1st Lt. Brian “Brass” Burke, 104th FW pilot.
First Lieutenant Burke said that the training they will receive in Florida will help pilots get familiar flying against dissimilar aircraft, and will help traditional guardsmen get training they may not get during a two-day drill weekend.
“As a traditional guardsman you only get to practice your skills a couple days a month, but these trips allow you to deploy and practice for one, two, or three weeks at a time and you’re able to improve your skills a lot more and a lot faster when you’re deployed for that period of time,” said 1st Lt. Burke.