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On the Record: ASAB JA and Law Day

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kevin Tanenbaum
  • 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

The 386th Air Expeditionary Wing judge advocate office is a resource not only supporting commanders, but any Ali Al Salem Air Base assigned members’ legal issue, and on May 1, 2020 they will be commemorating Law Day in honor of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote in 1920.

“JA’s first mission is to support the wing itself, we are a legal office in support of the wing commander and his subordinate commanders in execution of their mission,” said Major Dustin Tipling, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing staff judge advocate. “If they’re having discipline related issues, we help them enforce correction in accordance with the law and policy.”

The JA team also works to provide legal assistance for Airmen on all issues from child custody to guard and reserve employment issues to financial problems at home.

“Our second mission is to help Airmen, retirees and dependents with legal assistance issues,” said Tipling. “All of what Airmen would seek help for at home station is here or amplified here, and a lot of times the problem is because they’re deployed, so we assist in dealing with those problems.”

Master Sgt. Anna Nakamoto, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing law office superintendent mentioned that JA is here to assist with its issues you don’t expect to deal with that arise while deployed.

While there are many similarities between deployment and home station for JA, one difference is noteworthy. 

“The biggest difference is we’re in a foreign country, and you may say ‘haha that’s funny,’ but it matters,” said Tipling. “The idiosyncrasies of the host nation are things that we have to deal with. If something happens off-base, such as speeding, we have to work through the embassy and there are processes we have to follow, as opposed to back home where we know exactly what we have to do since it is all U.S. law.”

While helping with random issues daily, the office has taken time to highlight an annual event in the JA community: Law Day.

“Law Day is the first of May every year, the American Bar Association heads it up and designates a theme,” said Nakamoto. “Most times at home station they will go out to a school to hold a mock trial or conduct a 5k.”

This year’s highlighted theme is womens’ right to vote. Nakamoto talked about how the team would like to get people interested in something they generally wouldn’t have experience with.

“This year we did an art contest, partly as a way to celebrate and still adhere to physical distancing,” said Nakamoto. “It’s a way for people to express themselves and everyone has a different interpretation.

On May 1st an information booth will be set up at the Drop Zone on base where people can come and, not only vote on which piece of artwork most represents the 19th Amendment, but also view the information on the 19th Amendment and voter registration information.

In addition, there will be a QR code for anyone who wishes to vote online.