Reserve, Active Duty partner to enhance unit readiness

  • Published
  • By Michelle Gigante
  • 919th Special Operations Wing

Working together with a worldwide expeditionary combat logistics squadron at one of Air Combat Command’s largest fighter wings is proving to be a cost-effective approach for both active duty and the 919th Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron.

Several dozen members of the 919th SOLRS recently traveled to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia to train with the 633rd Logistics Readiness Squadron and the 710th Combat Operations Squadron Reserve component to integrate capabilities for their annual tour training.

“Our training entwines our leadership with theirs to report directly to them, while they are reporting directly to our commander,” said Senior Master Sgt. Brian Applegate, 919th SOLRS quality assurance manager. “We received tremendous support from the active duty while we were there.”

The combined mission to operate together maintains readiness, continuity and expertise to augment the active-duty air operations center force. Additionally, the Reserve components of 919th SOLRS and 710th COS contribute their capabilities to plan, task, execute, and assess air power and space power for the air operations center.

“Our team embodied the training we received at Langley AFB and gathered significant education not available at Duke Field,” said Senior Airman Jason Garcia, 919th SOLRS fuels management flight mechanic.

Some of the specific projects the 919th SOLRS worked on to support their military counterparts included training on the storage and transfer of liquid oxygen utilized by pilots during flight; setting up a pantograph, a refueling mechanism used to service fighter jets while the jet engines are still running; conducted lab sampling to verify the quality of fuel received during a fuel delivery of approximately 700,000 gallons aboard a floating barge; and tested all emergency E-stops on fuel equipment, an action critical to the safety of Airmen and assets. 

The training provided the hands-on experience with maintenance equipment and the opportunity to learn from other personnel in the career field, which otherwise would not be available without the joint effort. For many 919th SOLRS Airmen, this was also the first time to deploy in any kind of military fashion or ride on a military aircraft.

 “Working with the active duty has been extremely helpful and allowed us to teach each other skills from a variety of career fields,” said Garcia. “The tour has given me new experiences and training I can bring back [to Duke Field].”