Services Airmen Gain Experience in Medical Training Exercise

  • Published
  • By TSgt. Dan Heaton
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs
No matter what hat Airman Shelbi Newsom is wearing, she likes to help people.

As a Services specialist with the 188th Fighter Wing, Arkansas Air National Guard, Newsom can be called upon to work in a variety of roles - serving meals, arranging lodging, even working in the morgue - around an air base. As a police dispatcher in her civilian career, she said she is also in a position to help other people.

"I think being in the military gave me the credibility, showed that I have the responsibility level that helped me get my job with the police department," said Newsom, while she was making breakfast for more than 80 Airmen as part of a medical disaster training exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center in northern Michigan.

During the exercise, four Services Airmen from the 188th ensured that all of the medical specialists were fed every day during their training scenario. That meant getting to the kitchen every morning at 4:30 a.m. - 0430 in militaryspeak - to begin breakfast. They made the meal in a dining facility on the base and then transported it out to the exercise area, where the medical teams began eating breakfast at about 6:30 a.m.

"This is an opportunity for us to do a little training, as well," said Master Sgt. Nolan Bramlett, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the four-person team and a veteran of more than 35 years of military service.

"Getting out in the field like this, you have a bit more time to work with the younger Airmen," he said.

While Bramlett is teaching the younger Airmen a few things about running a kitchen, he said his primary focus is not necessarily on cooking skills.

"Communication, respect, discipline, integrity and work ethic - those are the five things that will make you successful, not matter what line of work you are in," he said.

Technical Sgt. Christina Simmons said the short deployment to Alpena was a welcome opportunity for her, as it gave the 13-year veteran a chance to work directly in the kitchen.

"I do a lot of the administrative things that need to be done at home station," she said, as she prepared a tray of bacon for the morning meal. "As a Services Airmen, you never know what you are going to be called to do, it is always something different. I've done marketing, I've done mortuary services. So getting in here and doing a little cooking is a good opportunity for me."

Working with Simmons on the bacon was Airman 1st Class Carolina Osorio, a nine-month veteran of the Arkansas Air National Guard.

"I wanted to be able to have a traditional experience as a college student," Osorio said. "But I also had a desire to serve my country. This allows me to do both."

The 188th Fighter Wing is stationed in Fort Smith, Ark.