By Tech. Sgt. Brigette Waltermire
137th Special Operations Wing
Three members of the 137th Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron (SOLRS) attended training with the 1st Special Operations Wing to complete annual requirements July 26-30, 2021, at Hurlburt Field, Floria.
The three Airmen received training on 1st SOLRS equipment that is not a part of their day-to-day operations at their home station, including bulk storage facilities, cryogenics, barge fuel receipts and defueling.
“Training at Hurlburt Field allows us to train alongside our AFSOC partners while also experiencing the unique equipment and mission capabilities of our active-duty counterparts,” said Senior Airman Jesse James, a 137th SOLRS fuels distribution operator. “They have a Forward Area Refueling Point crew, which is a very specialized area of the fuels career field. Most bases do not have this skillset, but as the only flight crew in fuels, this specialty has a global reach.”
The 1st SOLRS trained James, Senior Airman Aaron Blankenship and Senior Airman Evan Brinegar, also 137th SOLRS fuels distribution operators, as well as Airmen from two other wings: the 445th Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and the 419th LRS from Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
“This training gives 1st SOLRS members more opportunities to network while working side-by-side with our total-force Airmen,” said Senior Master Sgt. John Dukes, the superintendent of the fuels management flight for the 1st SOLRS. “Training alongside fellow AFSOC wings can be even more beneficial because sharing the same warrior ethos means we collectively lean into our readiness stance to operate on shorter timelines. That mission connection is much closer for our AFSOC Airmen since they can watch it unfold in real time.”
Training conducted at other bases ensures 137th Special Operations Wing Airmen are exposed to operations and equipment that is different from their home station, meaning they walk away with a broader understanding of how operations impact different mission sets across the Air Force. Training at AFSOC bases allows them to see the broader spectrum of the mission they already support.
“I’m looking forward to returning to my shop with new knowledge and experiences to help other Airmen’s professional development,” said Blankenship. “It’s an opportunity to foster a greater awareness of another AFSOC base as well as experience multiple aircraft and other capabilities that I might encounter on a deployment.”