Future Airmen reporting for duty

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Courtney Richardson
  • 944th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 944th Fighter Wing called a different set of team members to duty in support of the “Forge and Fight” mission, April 10, 2021.

During the latest deployment recall the Reserve Citizen Airmen traded places with their children as part of the 944th Fighter Wing Operation Reserve Kids. 

“April is Month of the Military Child so this is the perfect occasion to highlight our military kids and families,” said Jessica Maldonado, Airman and Family Readiness director. “The purpose of Operation Reserve Kids is to help children of our military families gain a better understanding and appreciation of not only the deployment process their parents go through but to also to learn more about what their parents do in the military. This event also helps enhance the bond between the parent and child as it relates to their military career and opens their eyes to all the career opportunities available to them if they chose to join the Air Force.”

Upon arrival, the children went through registration to obtain their identification and swore in as a military child ready for duty.

“Your parent’s take an oath, or an allegiance, every time they take on new rank I will be asking the same of you before you leave to complete your mission,” said Col. Sean Rassas 944th Fighter Wing vice commander. “You are promising to follow a certain set of rules and as you go throughout your day today think about them. So can all military children please stand and raise your right hand…” Rassas said.

After the oath the newest Airmen received their mission brief and shortly after they took off to get their affairs in order in the pre-deployment line. They talked with and received activities from legal, finance, medical, Airman and Family Readiness, Chaplains, and the Logistics Readiness Squadron.

“Having the children go through the pre-deployment line gave them a great view of how their parents are not only concerned with getting themselves out the door but also taking care of the family they are leaving behind,” said MSgt Christina Enterkine, 944th Mission Support Group command support staff and Operation Reserve Kids team lead.

After taking care of their administrative responsibilities, the children were split into separate groups. Half of them started their mission getting up-close and personal with an F-35 Lightning and F-16 Fighting Falcon, learning about the flight gear, weapons load, and the body of the each airframe.

“I learned the top speed of these aircraft, how old they are, the suits the pilots wear, and it’s really cool to see what kind of stuff they drop from these aircraft,” said Ryan Chambion, 14, son of Capt. Pierre Chambion, 944th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron officer-in-charge.

The other half of the children started at the more physical portion of the tour. They shot at targets using paintball guns, met retired military working dogs, completed a mail call and PT challenge, and received a tour of an ambulance.

“This is all new and fascinating to us,” said Kristina Telles, wife of MSgt Abel Telles, 944th Logistics Readiness Squadron and mother of Cruz, 6. “To learn the process and what service members go through is eye-opening and this little guy is ecstatic. Cruz idolizes his daddy and is excited to do some of the things he has to do when he comes to work.”

The day wrapped-up with a welcome home party attended by the wing’s Honorary Commanders, 944th FW Reserve Citizen Airmen, and U.S. Representative Debbie Lesko, AZ-8. The 944th FW commander presented each child certificate of appreciation for their continued service in support of their parents.