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Guam ANG supports ‘Total Force,’ other services during annual Korean exercise

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Stephen Collier
  • 7th Air Force Public Affairs
When weary U.S. servicemembers depart their 12 to 16-hour flight from Incheon International Airport in Seoul, and begin their duffle bag drag here, the last thing they want is a hassle.

The 254th Services Flight Airmen of the Guam Air National Guard remove those hassles by greeting military personnel here supporting Ulchi Focus Lens '07 as if they were family.

Since Aug. 10, the Airmen have taken on the task of processing more than 400 military members from across the services into a compacted tent city, assigning cots for each one to rest on and transporting those arriving member's weapons to base armories.

They even make time to have fresh coffee available around the clock.

"When we first arrived, there was no armory in place for members to store their weapons," Staff Sgt. Cynthia Fejaran, deployed services attendant said. "If something needs to get done, we make sure we do it."

In the week leading up to Aug. 20, the start of UFL '07, processing weapons meant the Guam Airmen required transportation to get members back and forth to the base armory as they arrived throughout the days and into the nights. The Guam ANG members not only led the charge to get member's weapons processed, they reached out across Osan and secured vehicles to ease the processing.

The Guam Airmen don't stop at just this UFL. Since supporting the joint exercise in the past, other members of the 254th Air Base Group, which the Guam ANG members are assigned, have passed down their knowledge to their counterparts to better prepare them.

That preparation helps provide better support to the 'boots on the ground' that are ensuring this year's UFL is a success.

"Compared to other Guard members we've worked with, they've said we work well as a team, we deal with what we have and always keep a positive attitude," said Tech. Sgt. Clarissa Hautea-Rosario, 254th Services Flight. "We're a family. Yes, every family has their issues. But at the end of the day, we're family-oriented."

While supporting the servicemembers living in tent city, the Guam ANG is also working with 'Total Force' counterparts, including Airmen from both the Air Force Reserve and active duty. One of those Reservists, tent city 'mayor' Lt. Col. Mike Williams, said the Guam ANG's contributions to UFL augmentees can be summed up by their attitude.

"This is the second time I've worked with Guam Guard members as services troops," the 34-year Air Force veteran said. "They're the most professional services organization I've ever had come to tent city, bar none. Their attitudes are totally professional, they're cheerful and they support each other while working outrageous hours. They don't whine, they don't complain and they work very, very hard. Without them, I'm hurtin'."

With Air National Guard units being called up at a greater rate since Sept. 11, 2001, many in the Guard's various wings and groups are leaving behind daily jobs, children's birthdays and wedding anniversaries in support of the Global War on Terror and other contingencies.

While many may cringe at missing a loved one's significant event, Sergeant Fejaran said the Guam ANG prides itself that volunteers stand up each time a deployment is available, ready to answer their nation's call.

"Every time, we have people raise their hand asking to support a deployment tasking," Sergeant Hautea-Rosario said. "We don't wait to be 'voluntold;' all of us are willing to support deployments. But we like to deploy as a group, so many volunteer first. It's all about being family."

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