Reservists wrap up annual tour in Hawaii

About 100 Air Force reservists from the 419th Fighter Wing returned Aug. 20 from two weeks of annual tour training in Hawaii.

Airmen from the medical, security forces, logistics readiness, and force support squadrons worked with joint service counterparts at military installations across the island of Oahu to hone their skills. In addition to serving one weekend a month, reservists are required to do two weeks of intensive training each year to ensure they’re ready to deploy anywhere around the world.

The majority of the Airmen were from the 419th Medical Squadron, which included medical, dental, optometry and lab technicians. While there, the MDS augmented three medical facilities, including Tripler Army Medical Center, a level-five trauma hospital in Honolulu that serves the entire military population of the Pacific region.

“Not a lot of people my age get an opportunity like this,” said 21-year-old Senior Airman Morgan Davis, who worked in the emergency room at Tripler during her first annual tour. “I really enjoy learning, and I get to grow as a person.”

The 419th Logistics Readiness Squadron sent fuels specialists to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, where they refueled a wide variety of joint service aircraft. They also participated in an exercise known as Sentry Aloha, providing fuel to F-22, F-16 and F-15 aircraft.

“This base has some pretty unique operations, and being here gives us a chance to work on vehicles and aircraft that we wouldn’t normally get a chance to work on at home,” said Tech. Sgt. Wesley Jones, 419th LRS fuels specialist. “We want to be as fully trained and qualified as we can, so we’re ready when called upon to deploy.”

Also there for training and support were Airmen from the 419th Mission Support Group and wing staff, including force support, security forces, services, safety and the inspector general office.

Several reservists took time on their days off to volunteer at historic sites. About 15 reservists spent a Saturday aboard the USS Missouri, cleaning areas frequented by thousands of visitors each year. Master Sgt. Tamara Wass, a 419th first sergeant and honor guard member, raised an American flag at the nearby USS Arizona Memorial to honor those who perished in the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.