News>117th Air Refueling Wing visits 48th Fighter Wing
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117th Air Refueling Wing visits the 48th Fighter Wing 117th Communication Squadron augments the Liberty Wing's communication squadron
ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England – Tech. Sgt. David Hemphill (left) and Staff Sgt. Brent Orth, 177th Communications Squadron cyber transport technicians, review telephone communication programs in the 48th CS building June 26, 2012. Airmen from the 117th Air Refueling Wing visited the Liberty Wing for training and a chance to see how the 48th Fighter Wing operates. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ken Johnson)
ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England – Tech. Sgt. Garret Slaughter (left) and Staff Sgt. Ricky Seamen, 177th Communications Squadron cyber transport technicians, review information programs in 48th CS building June 26, 2012. Airmen from the 117th Air Refueling Wing visited the Liberty Wing for training and a chance to see how the 48th Fighter Wing operates. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ken Johnson)
by Airman 1st Class Cory D. Payne
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
6/29/2012 - ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- More than 50 Air National Guard Airmen from the 117th Air Refueling Wing, Birmingham, Ala., visited the 48th Fighter Wing from June 18 to June 30, 2012.
The primary focus of the visit was to train, ensure readiness and give guardsmen a chance to see how the 48th FW operates.
"It gives us a lot of experience we don't get in our home station environment," said Maj. Mike Taylor, 117th Mission Support Group deputy commander. "It helps us be better prepared for when we are activated."
The 117th ARW and the 48th FW have vastly different missions and operations, but within a mission support group there are many common aspects.
"Many of the same issues are exactly what we were briefing back home," said Taylor. "It's good to see that we are not an anomaly by ourselves and that we're all doing the same things-that we're all fighting the same war."
Some of the members of the 177th ARW noticed a few of the similarities and differences while working with the 48th Communications Squadron.
"It's been good, the 48th FW is a much bigger organization than what we're used to, especially the communications piece," said Staff Sgt. Brent Orth, 177th Communications Squadron cyber transport technician. "The 48th uses a completely different manufacturer of telephones, so here they have different programs."
"Overall what we accomplish is the same, but there are a few little nuances in how you get to the end point."
After working with the 117th CS, some of the Liberty Wing's communication squadron members echoed the feeling of learning from each other.
"I really enjoyed working with them (the guardsmen), they brought different knowledge from their location, and it was fun showing them how we do things here," said Staff Sgt. Joel Lanning, 48th CS cyber system operator. "We received suggestions from them dealing with the challenges from their base and applied some of them to our challenges here at the 48th FW."
Although augmenting the Liberty Wing has been about training the guardsmen to be ready for deployments and doing the mission outside of their comfort zone, the 117th has made time to enjoy and experience the local English culture.
"Not only do we see during the duty day the active duty and Air National Guard relationship, in the evenings after work, we go out and experience English culture and countryside," said Taylor. "It gives us a whole new perspective, we love it here in England."
With the first rotation of guardsmen leaving to go back home and the next rotation coming next week, Taylor reflected on how the first group has been treated.
"The 48th FW, from the senior leadership down to every work center has been simply fantastic, they opened the door and opened their arms to us," said Taylor. "I just can't say enough good things about the relationship we have with the 48th FW, and how well we've been received and treated."
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Public Affairs Office
This webpage is maintained by the 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs office. For questions about what services we provide, contact us at:
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