HomeNewsArticle Display

JET/IA Airmen connect blue line back to AF

170908-F-QT665-0008.JPG

Airman 1st Class Adian Tackett, left, and Staff Sgt. Takura Oshiro stand in front of a decorated T-Wall at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia Sept. 8, 2017. Tackett and Oshiro are assigned to the aerial port section of the 387th Air Expeditionary Squadron, which provides quick reaction port operation across throughout the Southwest Asia area of operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Eric M. Sharman)

SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) --

The 387th Air Expeditionary Squadron is a small unit. With about 10 assigned staff, and 20 quick-response aerial port Airmen, they have a small footprint. Their reach, however, is far more expansive than meets the eye. They have the responsibility of providing all levels of administrative support to about 390 joint expeditionary task and individual augmentee Airmen, bearing 72 Air Force specialty codes, and forward deployed to 11 countries.

These forward-deployed Airmen, better known as JET/IA Airmen, are working alongside Soldiers, Sailors and Marines in joint taskings in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

“JET used to be called ‘in lieu of’ because the Army, Navy and Marines had jobs where they didn’t have the manpower. They’d create these taskings and say ‘we don’t have the bodies to do this, and need the other services to pitch in,’” said Lt. Col. Gregory Rusk, the 387th AES director of operations. “We’ve got security forces, engineers, aerial porters, just about any Air Force specialty code you can think of filling a JET/IA tasking.”

With these taskings for manpower, the Air Force sends Airmen from across the spectrum of skill sets. Everything from security forces and vehicle operators, to financial managers and comptrollers are regularly tasked with JET/IA missions. They each have capabilities to serve directly under sister-service components. This is where the 387th AES becomes most critical.

Connecting Our People

These deployed Airmen aren't in a typical Air Force environment, and don't have  Air Force "blue" assets and people surrounding them. This is where the 387th AES serves as a "blue line" these Airmen can trace back, for support from Air Force assets.

“What we do is serve as the blue line back to the Air Force,” said Rusk. “In these taskings, they don’t have someone in their chain of command that is Air Force and designated administratively as a commander. There are things that you simply need an Air Force commander’s signature for, or an Air Force first sergeant to handle; things like emergency leave, promotion, discipline and we do that for these Airmen.”

Additionally, the 387th AES handles moving these Airmen in and out of the theater, as well as other administrative support responsibilities. The squadron’s functions include logistics, personnel, travel, lodging and pay issues.

“We’re basically the command support staff for these lone Airmen, who are scattered across the area of operations,” said Rusk. “Wherever they are, I want them to know that we are here to help with whatever problem they have.”

Keepin’ it Movin’

The 387th AES also has 20 aerial port Airmen assigned to a quick reaction team. At a moment’s notice, the team can go anywhere in the area of responsibility to help move equipment and load aircraft. 

“There was a big turnover happening at [another] location, and that base isn’t staffed with a port, so our guys went up there, packed everything and loaded the planes, and got that unit home,” said Rusk. “[The aerial port Airmen] play Tetris to an amazing level to get stuff onto a pallet and into an airplane.”

Taking Care of Airmen

Along with the aerial port Airmen, the 387th AES boasts a robust support staff ready to tackle any specific Air Force issues. This ensures the JET/IA Airmen are taken care of by other Airmen who understand and know the best way to handle any issues that may arise.

“Our mission, the care and feeding of these Airmen, is important because the Air Force owes it to these Airmen, wherever they are, to be taken care of,” said Rusk. “We owe them a blue line back to the Air Force, and no matter what issue comes up, another Airman is there to take care of them.”

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @AirmanMagazine: That's what friends are for😎 A @usairforce KC-10 Extender crew from @Travis60AMW gave fuel to the @BlueAngels' F-18 Ho…
On Oct. 23, Lt. Gen. Warren Berry will discuss his service, his position and the role of the #AirForce. Click the l… https://t.co/AKTwiFpSrj
RT @SecAFOfficial: It’s an exciting & historic time to be an #Airman! Thanks for serving this great nation. It’s time to increase the thrus…
RT @US_TRANSCOM: @usairforce Airmen assigned to @grandslamwing move cargo to Bagram, Afghanistan in support of @CJTFOIR. @US_TRANSCOM’s ass…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: We must keep talking, keep asking...always connecting. We owe it to our #Airmen and each other. https://t.co/vjvPVLSDdI
RT @37thTRW: Who remembers cleaning 🧼 one of these rooms for inspection at #BMT? Or the #wingman that slept beside you? 🛏 Lots of history i…
RT @DeptofDefense: .@usairforce firefighters with the 36th Civil Engineer Squadron take part in a mock aircraft fire exercise at Andersen A…
RT @DeptofDefense: With a little help from my friends 🇬🇧 🇺🇸 The @usairforce @AFThunderbirds perform with the @rafredarrows in the largest a…
RT @AF_Academy: New Academy telescope will be largest available for public viewing in Colorado. https://t.co/0e4AJJTHUn https://t.co/uHT0Mb…
RT @DepSecDef: Congratulations to Barbara Barrett on confirmation as the 25th Secretary of the @usairforce. A businesswoman, attorney, dipl…
RT @30thSpaceWing: #DYK –VAFB is partially powered by a 200 acre, 28MW solar array, reducing its electrical demand by 35%, saving the base…
RT @WrightPattAFB: An @AFResearchLab team recently delivered version 2.0 of the Survival Health Awareness Responders Kit (SHARK) to @usairf
Watch the video of Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett being sworn in. Click the link to learn more about… https://t.co/agE0mT2cFj
RT @EsperDoD: Congratulations to Barbara Barrett, the 25th @SecAFOfficial. I know she will lead the charge to modernize @usairforce operati…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: It’s a great day to be an Airman. Today Barbara Barrett officially became our 25th @SecAFOfficial. The men and women…
RT @DeptofDefense: Fill em up! ⛽ KC-135 Stratotankers from @RAFMildenhall refueled over 80 F-15s in a two-day exercise, offloading 480,000…
RT @SecAFOfficial: Today I officially became the 25th Secretary of the #AirForce. I'm conscious of the extraordinary privilege of working w…
RT @HQUSAFEPA: #BomberTaskForceEurope 20-1 is in full swing and B-52s from @TeamBarksdale are operating out of RAF Fairford to improve bomb…