New Jersey Air National Guard team 'proud' to support 380th AEW operations
A nine-person team from the New Jersey Air National Guard's 108th Force Support Squadron, 108th Air Refueling Wing, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., are deployed supporting operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa for the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing at a non-disclosed Base in Southwest Asia. Their deployed unit is the 380th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron and they are pictured here on June 1, 2010. The team includes, from left, Senior Airman Abdul Montaser, Airman 1st Class Andre Jackson, Staff Sgt. Heather Bartlett, Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Berry, Tech. Sgt. Lauren Holba, Tech. Sgt. Taylor Holba, Senior Airman Darnell Holmes, Senior Airman Levar Kinard, and Airman 1st Class Patricia Arias. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol/Released)
by Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol
380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
6/5/2010 - SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Spanning across nearly every facet of the 380th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron, nine Airmen deployed from the New Jersey Air National Guard are support morale, welfare, recreation and fitness operations for the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing at a non-disclosed base here.
The team, who includes Airmen 1st Class Patricia Arias, Andre Jackson, Senior Airmen Darnell Holmes, Levar Kinard and Abdul Montaser, Staff Sgt. Heather Bartlett, and Tech. Sgts. Jeremy Berry, Lauren Holba and Taylor Holba, are deployed from the 108th Force Support Squadron, 108th Air Refueling Wing, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
The New Jersey team like many Guardsmen supporting the Air National Guard's federal mission. According to the National Guard Bureau, that mission is to maintain well-trained, well-equipped units available for prompt mobilization during war and provide assistance during national emergencies (such as natural disasters or civil disturbances).
During peacetime, the combat-ready units and support units are assigned to most Air Force major commands to carry out missions compatible with training, mobilization readiness, humanitarian and contingency operations such as for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
The Air National Guard provides almost half of the Air Force's tactical airlift support, combat communications functions, aeromedical evacuations and aerial refueling. In addition, the Air National Guard has total responsibility for air defense of the entire United States.
All of the New Jersey team members are services Airmen. In the 380th EFSS, services support programs range a myriad of areas and each of the New Jersey Air National Guard team members support any one of them. According to the official Air Force job description for the 3M0X1 career field, services Airmen manage and direct services programs, operations and retail operations. They supervise and work in appropriated fund food service and lodging activities, recreation, fitness and sports programs, linen exchange operations, mortuary affairs programs, honor guard teams, and services readiness programs.
Airman Montaser said being on the team and on this deployment has been a great experience.
"I enjoy being in services," Airman Montaser said. "I learn a lot every day by just being out here on deployment. As I always say, we all have one mission. All the jobs revolve around each other. Regardless if its services getting food for aircrews or aircrews supporting Marines and Soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan, we all have a critical job and mission that has to be accomplished day-in and day-out."
In supporting the 380th AEW, the nine New Jersey Airmen support the morale and welfare of more than 1,900 deployed personnel who in turn support operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.
Although they will be completing their deployment in June, Airman Montaser, who is a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., said he speaks for each of them when he says their are all proud to be a part of the deployed team.
"We are all one team and it's a team we are proud to be a part of," Airman Montaser said.
Both Sergeants Holba are natives of Burlington, N.J. Sergeant Berry is a native of Edison, N.J., Sergeant Bartlett is a resident of Browns Mill, N.J., Airman Kinard is a native of Mount Holly, N.J., Airman Arias is a native of Rutherford, N.J, Airman Jackson is a native of Willingboro, N.J., and Airman Holmes is a native of Philadelphia.
The 380th AEW is home to the KC-10 Extender, U-2 Dragon Lady, E-3 Sentry and RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft. The wing is comprised of four groups and 12 squadrons and the wing's deployed mission includes air refueling, air battle management, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of overseas contingency operations in Southwest Asia.