Airman Back in Uniform, Serving with CE

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Dan Heaton
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs
After a dozen-year break in service, Jason Navarre is back in the Air Force.

Now serving as Senior Airman Navarre, he served in the active duty Air Force and in the Michigan Air National Guard 1992-2002 as a petroleum, oils & lubricants specialists. Last year, he decided the retirement, health insurance and educational benefits of the Air National Guard were just too good to pass up, particularly with the years of service he already had on the books. So in October 2013, he re-enlisted, now serving as an operations specialist with the 127th Civil Engineer Squadron at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich.

This week, Navarre is on his first two-week deployment since returning to the Air National Guard.

"I have a friend who is a former Army Reservist who is now too old to get back in," Navarre said. "So, now, he's living vicariously through me. Every month, after my drill weekend, he wants to know everything I did."

On this deployment for training, Navarre is with about three dozen other CE Airmen, working at Camp Hinds Boy Scout Camp in Raymond, Maine, where the military is working on the Scout camp in a program known as Innovative Readiness Training, where the military works with nonprofit groups, in this case the Scouts, to provide service while the military gains a training opportunity. In simple terms, military construction teams need to practice building things and the Scouts need some things built - the classic "win-win scenario."

Navarre and Master Sgt. Maria Russell were tasked with creating a tool and supply inventory system to help facilitate the work projects at Camp Hinds.

Russell, who has been in the military for about 30 years, said having a well-organized inventory system not only can save time by being able to quickly locate tools, it also saved the government money by ensuring that the same tool doesn't need to be purchased twice.

"If you take personal ownership over an inventory, the system can run smoothly," said Russell, a veteran of numerous deployments with the 127th CES. "I try to be pre-prepared, thinking in advance of ways to label and store things in a way that makes sense and ensures the right equipment is available and ready to use when needed."