DTF assists wing historian

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Louis Vega Jr.
  • 944th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

There is a saying by Marcus Garvey that goes, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots”. This is never truer than within military culture which is steeped in historical tradition.

During the March UTA 50 trainees from the 944th Fighter Wing Development Training Flight got to take a peek at wing history as they assisted the wing historian organize 14 boxes of photos, video tapes, books, and souvenirs.

The photos date back over three decades and allowed the future Airmen a glimpse into how things have changed over the years.

“This was a great history lesson for the trainees,” said Tech. Sgt. James Oberhaus, 944 FW DTF training manager. “And it took us out of the classroom.”

Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Turner, 944 FW historian, developed a system before-hand to help the trainees organize the photos by category.

“The DTF trainees did a great job,” said Turner. “The photos were organized as well as we could hope.”

Turner would like to be able to use the help of the trainees in the near future for more projects.

The primary responsibility of the wing historian is to advise the commander and his staff on historical issues as they pertain to current decision making.

The bulk of Turner’s time is dedicated to writing the official government history of the wing. He produces an annual report that is kept at the Air Force Historical Research Agency. When anything interesting or valuable is done by units or members of the wing, a note should be forwarded to him for inclusion in the history. If the historian doesn’t know about it, then it is not part of the wing’s history.

Turner is currently preparing for a deployment later this year and provided insight into the future of the shop.

“We are looking for someone to replace me as historian,” Turner said. “I hope to have some good overlap with the following historian to help him or her hit the ground running.”

Trainees of the DTF are utilized throughout the wing to help during special events, along with their normal training during the UTA.

“I believe we accomplished our task today and made it easier to access the material later,” said Noheli Tellez, DTF trainee.

Tellez will be working on F-35s as a crew chief with the 944 FW Detachment 1, after attending basic training and technical school.

The main focus of the DTF program is to prepare new Air Force Reserve recruits for basic military training and their careers.