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Florida Air National Guard Airmen Train In Germany

Members form the 125th Force Support Squadron train in Germany.

Members form the 125th Force Support Squadron train in Germany.

Jacksonville, Fla -- Airmen from the 125th Fighter Wing were part of a team of 23 personnel that took recently took part in a training opportunity at Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany.

"It was exciting to integrate with active duty Force Support Squadron members," said Master Sgt. Chris Henderson, Personnel Systems Manager. "The airmen from Ramstein AFB were true professionals who welcomed us as fellow Airmen."

When the team arrived at Ramstein AFB they met their active duty counterparts and were spread out within their work areas.  Henderson and a few other members of the personnel support flight were able to gain experience working with HQ USAFE staff processing personnel actions, aiding in a manpower study and performing data entry.

Services airmen worked at the base gym, the dining facility and performed duties that are within their realm of responsibility, but they do not perform back at the 125th.

There was an airman that had passed away, and part of services capabilities and responsibilities is mortuary affairs. The remains came through Ramstein, said Chief Master Sgt. Jeffery  Stanley, Force Support Squadron Superintendent. We were able to have services handle the transfer and the icing of the remains. It's unfortunate that they had to do that but it is part of their job that they do not perform back home.

The team was also able to enjoy some down time together that is not always easy when everyone is back at home and caught up in their daily lives.

"For me, what I got out of it is the satisfaction of watching the airmen bond," said Stanley.  "We had times where everyone went out to dinner together. A couple of different nights we played volleyball. Friday before we left was a team building exercise. Just watching the airmen come together, the comradery that a lot of times we don't get here when we come for drill weekend. Lots of times we come to work and after work we just go home or go to our hotel."

Overall, the training was a success and allowed airmen to grow more confident in their skills and practice some skillsets they are not able to use at their home station.

"The biggest lesson I learned from this experience is that while there are some differences in our exact duties and how they are performed, the core of the career field remains the same: to take care of our members the best we can," said Henderson. "With that ethos in mind we can easily blend in with Active Duty and aid Combatant Commanders."