HomeNewsArticle Display

JET Airmen making joint missions successful

Staff Sgt. Kyle McGann enjoys removing a vehicle towing device March 16, 2014, during EOD demolition day at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan. McGann is a 466th Air Expeditionary Squadron, Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician and responsible for robot operation during EOD missions and ammunition accountability. The Molalla, Ore. native, is deployed from the 627th Civil Engineering Squadron, Patrick Air Force Base, Calif. More than 1,200 Operation Enduring Freedom Airmen are deployed in Joint Expeditionary Tasking and Individual Augmentee-status to conduct non-traditional Air Force missions with joint-service partners throughout Afghanistan. McGann and more than 350 other Airmen serve in JET/IA positions throughout Afghanistan's Regional Command South, Southwest and West attached to the U.S. Air Force 466th Air Expeditionary Squadron at Kandahar AF. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

Staff Sgt. Kyle McGann removes a vehicle towing device March 16, 2014, during explosive ordinance disposal demolition day at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan. McGann is a 466th Air Expeditionary Squadron, Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician and responsible for robot operation during EOD missions and ammunition accountability. McGann and more than 350 other Airmen serve in JET/IA positions throughout Afghanistan's Regional Command South, Southwest and West attached to the U.S. Air Force 466th Air Expeditionary Squadron at Kandahar AF. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

Staff Sgt. Kyle McGann digs mud from under a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle March 16, 2014, during demolition day at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan. McGann is a 466th Air Expeditionary Squadron, Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

Staff Sgt. Kyle McGann digs mud from under a mine resistant ambush protected, or MRAP, vehicle March 16, 2014, during demolition day at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan. McGann is a 466th Air Expeditionary Squadron, explosive ordnance disposal technician. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

Explosive ordnance disposal technicians assigned to the 466th Air Expeditionary Squadron, walk toward a blast pit after detonating four 500-pound bombs March 16, 2014, during demolition day at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan. Demolition day is designed for EOD technicians to train for future mission. More than 1,200 Operation Enduring Freedom Airmen are deployed in Joint Expeditionary Tasking and Individual Augmentee-status to conduct non-traditional Air Force missions with joint-service partners throughout Afghanistan. More than 350 other Airmen serve in JET/IA positions throughout Afghanistan's Regional Command South, Southwest and West attached to the U.S. Air Force 466th Air Expeditionary Squadron at Kandahar. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

Explosive ordnance disposal technicians assigned to the 466th Air Expeditionary Squadron walk toward a blast pit after detonating four 500-pound bombs March 16, 2014, during demolition day at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan. Demolition day is designed for EOD technicians to train for future missions. More than 1,200 Operation Enduring Freedom Airmen are deployed in joint expeditionary tasking and individual augmentee-status to conduct non-traditional Air Force missions with joint-service partners throughout Afghanistan. More than 350 other Airmen serve in JET/IA positions throughout Afghanistan's Regional Command South, Southwest and West attached to the U.S. Air Force 466th Air Expeditionary Squadron at Kandahar. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

Master Sgt. Patrick Noppenberg organizes lunch food items March 15, 2014 at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan. Noppenberg is a 466th Air Expeditionary Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of food services and responsible for ordering food, receiving and restocking supplies for a kitchen that provides about 1500 meals a day for personnel assigned to Kandahar Air Field. The Dallas, Texas, native is deployed from the 7th Force Support Squadron, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

Master Sgt. Patrick Noppenberg organizes food items March 15, 2014 at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan. Noppenberg is a 466th Air Expeditionary Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of food services and is responsible for ordering food and receiving and restocking supplies for a kitchen that provides about 1500 meals a day for personnel assigned to Kandahar Air Field. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

1st Lt. Kelli Walker photographs a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook, Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan, March 14, 2014. Walker is a 1st Combat Aviation Brigade battle damage materials scientist. As a Joint Expeditionary Tasked (JET) battle damage scientist, Walker is primarily responsible diagnosing all damage of unit aircraft, reporting recovery processes and providing scientific data to improve future aircraft restoration projects. She is a Roseville, Calif. native, deployed from the Manufacturing Directorate, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

1st Lt. Kelli Walker photographs an Army CH-47 Chinook at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan, March 14, 2014. As a joint expeditionary tasked, or JET, battle damage scientist, Walker is primarily responsible diagnosing all damage of unit aircraft, reporting recovery processes and providing scientific data to improve future aircraft restoration projects. Walker is a 1st Combat Aviation Brigade battle damage materials scientist. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

Staff Sgt. Sheena Raya Amaya smiles before a pre-convoy briefing March 14, 2014 at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan. Amaya is the primary combat medic on mission convoys and provides clinic-level care for soldiers at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan.  The Virginia Beach, Va., native is deployed from the 48th Medical Operations Squadron, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, United Kingdom. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

Staff Sgt. Sheena Raya Amaya smiles before a pre-convoy briefing March 14, 2014 at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan. Amaya is the primary combat medic on mission convoys and provides clinic-level care for soldiers at Kandahar Air Field. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

Al UDIED AIR BASE, Qatar (AFNS) -- About 1,200 Airmen are deployed in joint expeditionary tasked and individual augmentee assignments conducting Operation Enduring Freedom missions alongside joint-service and coalition partners throughout Afghanistan.

Known collectively as "JET Airmen", they rely on previous experience and Air Force training to directly support American and coalition ground forces.

"Airmen are contributing significantly to critical missions throughout Afghanistan every day," said Lt. Col. Richard Goodman, the 446th Air Expeditionary Group deputy commander. "Our Airmen serving in joint taskings are highly valued and their skills and leadership contribute immensely to the effort of the joint team. I couldn't be more proud of them."

"Back home, I'm a bench-level scientist, working on high temperature materials," said 1st Lt. Kelli Walker, the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, Joint Combat Assessment Team battle-damage assessor. "Deployed here, as JCAT assessor, I have an immediate operational impact by analyzing aircraft battle damage and providing timely and relevant intelligence to theater commanders ... so they can mitigate risks when flying assets."

Walker is one of two Air Force scientists tasked with diagnosing battle damage for all coalition aircraft across Afghanistan. Her reports on aircraft damage and recovery processes provide scientific data to assist commanders in improving future aircraft operational employment and reconstitution efforts. 

Walker and more than 300 JET Airmen serve in similarly unique JET/IA positions throughout Afghanistan's Regional Command South, Southwest and West attached to the 466th Air Expeditionary Squadron at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan. From there, more than 200 Airmen support the Army's 4th Infantry Division.

"This is truly a joint and combined force," said Army Maj. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, the commanding general, Regional Command (South) and 4th ID. "When I look around, I don't see Marines, or Airmen, or Soldiers, or Sailors, or Guardians. It is one force, one team, all pulling in the same direction, supporting the Afghans as they rejected the Taliban and voted for democracy." 

As the U.S. military consolidates its footprint in Afghanistan, 466th AES JET Airmen supporting the 4th ID at Kandahar are called upon to assist, advise and train Afghan National Security Forces to foster self-sustainment.

"Working with various organizations and branches of the military has helped me to become a better leader," said Air Force Tech Sgt. Earnest Buffin, 466th AES logistics adviser. "I've been able to take my experience from the Air Force and apply it to this JET Tasking. It's been rewarding."

According to Buffin, the ANSF forces he advises are responsible for nearly $10 million in assets and have made significant improvements in planning and accountability during his tour. 

Air Force medical technicians deployed as JET Airmen provide day-to-day clinic-level care to soldiers in support of Army convoy operations. Deployed in teams of two, these Airmen embed with their Army brethren to conduct both day-to-day preventive care and combat casualty care for the nearly 100 members assigned to a particular convoy operation. Working independently from the back of mine resistant ambush protected vehicles, prescribing medications to ailing soldiers, and responding to casualties after an attack starkly contrast with their normal home-station duties that often consist of greeting patients, organizing schedules and aiding doctors with patient care.

For Staff Sgt. Rebekah Miller and Senior Airman Nathan Friederichs, 466th AES medical technicians, their deployment became an epic journey. For more than 14 days, the Airmen provided medical support and care to Soldiers on a delayed convoy operation in Regional Command South.

During a tactical hold due to weather and austere operating conditions, Miller and Friederichs ensured the health and safety of their entire team -- returning Soldiers to the mission to complete the movement without casualty.

Explosive ordnance disposal Airmen of the 466th AES are also supporting operations in Afghanistan. In addition to primary missions, each week the EOD Airmen detonate unused and outdated munitions collected from multiple organizations to ensure improved safety for U.S. and coalition forces.

Airmen assigned to the construction management retrograde engineers mission at Kandahar and Bagram Air Fields play a significant role in ongoing transition efforts. The Airmen plan facility deconstruction efforts, monitor projects through completion and report progress to senior leaders.

Staff Sgt. Michael Makela, a 466th AES EOD administrative technician, is responsible for the accountability of assets and personnel while providing overall support for the EOD team.

"My job back at home consists of enlisted evaluation reports, reenlistments and things of an administrative nature," Makela said. "Here, I'm performing force protection and other duties that Airmen in my career field don't normally have the opportunity to do."

Staff Sgt. Jessica Segalla, a 4th ID Afghan National Army advisor assigned to the 466th AES, advises ANSF on the importance of security, linguist managementand the development of standardized logistics management procedures. 

"I like what I do as a JET Airman, not only with the Afghans, but with our sister services," Segalla said. "Meeting the challenges of this mission has changed my life forever -- I wouldn't trade it for the world."

Engage

Facebook Twitter
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…
RT @EsperDoD: During #CyberSecurityAwarenessMonth, I challenge all @DeptofDefense employees to stay committed, ensuring they are following…
RT @AirNatlGuard: Special Delivery! ✈️📦 The @109thAW teamed up with the @RCAF_ARC for Operation Boxtop, an annual resupply mission to suppo…
We strive to increase our Airmen's lethality and capabilities. Learn about firefighters leading the cost-effective… https://t.co/Nrgx3BSrtl
RT @EsperDoD: Congratulations to Barbara Barrett for her overwhelming bipartisan confirmation by @SenateGOP & @SenateDems to be the 25th Se…
Gen. Stephen Wilson visited Houston to help #SpaceCity celebrate #AstronautWeek. He visited @spacecenterhouston and… https://t.co/Nymvd98qvQ
Our Airmen continuously work to strengthen our alliances. Learn more about how EOD partnered with Niger Armed Force… https://t.co/VwRIOnBokn
Stay tuned for an upcoming episode of #HoustonWeHavePodcast by @NASA_Johnson where Gen Wilson joins Air Force Colon… https://t.co/Y7u9cHFtOt
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: This is an exciting day for our Air Force. Secretary Barrett brings an incredible background and a level of strategic…
The Senate has confirmed the 25th Secretary of the Air Force, Barbara Barrett. https://t.co/Y6kDGD5eds
RT @DoDHealth: #DYK? Many @TRICARE beneficiaries may qualify to purchase vision insurance through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision I…
Hello #Chicago! SrA Genesis Martinez Arteaga grew up in Chicago and has great things to say about the city, click… https://t.co/o8gFv5YYhp
RT @cmsaf18: It's a great day for our teammates in every corner of the DoD! Our brothers and sisters in service are in the best hands possi…
RT @DVIDSHub: This is what it’s like to be a piece of #military cargo being dropped from an aircraft. Try not to get dizzy! … https://t.co…
RT @AF_Football: The C-17 is the newest member of the Air Power Legacy and honors the nine Air Force bases home to the aircraft with tail f…
RT @HQ_AFMC: The @usairforce Life Cycle Management Center will hold a #PitchDay Nov 13-14 in Dayton, OH focused on awarding on-the-spot, Ph…
RT @HQ_AFMC: The newest @usairforce software development lab is coming to downtown Macon, Georgia. "We want to expose the work that we’re d…