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JET/IA Airmen support partners, Afghanistan

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Benjamin Gonsier
  • 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- Throughout Afghanistan there are Airmen and civilians who tout the “JET/IA” patch on their uniform.

This patch designates them as skilled technicians in their field, who are attached to other organizations outside the Air Force, to bring their expertise to the battlefield.

These individuals fall under the 955th Air Expeditionary Squadron, which is responsible for getting these Airmen where they need to be and taking care of their administrative, leadership, and force support needs.

“When the Army, NATO or another service can’t provide a body or expertise to do a certain job, the Air Force jumps in and provides it for them under the joint expeditionary tasking or individual augmentee, which helps them with their mission,” said Chief Master Sgt. Michael Sloan, the 955th AES superintendent. “While with these units, the 955th AES serves as a direct line back to the Air Force.”

The squadron ensures its members are taken care of by being their go-to for information, travel, personnel matters, finance, legal and other affairs.

“In Afghanistan, the 955th AES has more than 300 individuals, spread across 20 locations, serving in a multitude of missions,” said Capt. Christopher Bollinger, the 955th AES operations officer in charge.

Not only does the unit have Airmen all over the region, but the assortment of different skills these men and women have makes it truly unique, Bollinger added.

“We have personnel with 87 different AFSCs (Air Force Specialty Codes) serving all over the country, to include medical, flight engineers, logistics personnel, intelligence, weather, personnelists and cyber to name a few,” Sloan said. “They are working with Afghan Special Forces, the Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Defense--all sorts of different things.”

These Airmen are enabling NATO’s Resolute Support train, advise and assist campaign by going outside-the-wire and working directly with Afghan partners on a daily-basis, creating a better Afghanistan. They are also in combat, defending the country from terrorists and insurgents, helping Afghan security forces and the Afghan National Army stabilize their country.

These missions could not be accomplished without the 955th AES Leadership, unit travel representatives, and personnel team at Bagram Airfield, who are constantly setting up travel and meeting the demands of their customers and commanders.

“We serve as the squadron command function for all of our people out in the field,” Bollinger said. “We have administrative control over them, but they fall under their tactical commands for their normal day-to-day operations.

“It is very rewarding to see all of the different mission sets our Airmen (military and civilian) are accomplishing out there. They are supporting NATO’s Resolute Support and assisting in the anti-terrorism mission in Afghanistan. Both are critical for securing peace in Afghanistan and around the globe.”