Tennessee Airmen Get Hands-on Readiness and Capability Training in Washington, D.C.

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Brandon Keys
  • 134th Air Refueling Wing

Throughout history, effective teams have been a key element in successful military operations. Without support and flexibility at every level, desired goals have been difficult to attain. Thus, team building is paramount to create synergy for future engagements. That’s why Airmen assigned to wing staff from the 134th Air Refueling Wing trained from June 10-19, 2024 at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. The training focused on readiness and increasing capabilities while allowing Airmen to build relationships throughout the 10-day exercise. 

Airmen enhanced their resilience dynamics, active threat responses, and information dissemination skills through a series of diverse scenarios. This training empowered them to make the right decisions at the right time, a crucial aspect of readiness. They then applied these skills to various assessments, demonstrating the practical knowledge they gained in real time. The visit to the nation’s capital further enriched their understanding of U.S. history, fostering a deeper connection to their country and each other. 

“What a great backdrop Washington D.C. is to help us see where we fit inside the bigger picture, " said Wing Executive Officer Lt. Col. Joey Reed. “It’s been phenomenal to see our members from the command post, finance, legal, safety, admin, chaplain’s core, and public affairs working together to see where they can improve. It builds readiness and makes us more capable when asked to deliver in the future.” 

Airmen visited various government and historical sites, including the Pentagon, the White House, the National Guard Bureau, and war memorials. These experiences provided a deeper understanding of how the 134th ARW Airmen’s efforts impact the larger mission.

“This training is about understanding where we all fit in,” said Wing Chaplain Maj. Seth Hammond. “I now have a better view of what our JAG corps does because we’ve spent so much time with them here, so it’s been beneficial, and I think each group would say the same. A change in atmosphere can take you out of the norm and create new experiences in new environments.”

As the Air Force looks to the future of readiness, it's clear that training like this is not just about building individual capabilities, but about fostering better relationships that span multiple unit levels. The experience improved our ability to face the challenges ahead with clarity, communication, and confidence as a team, enhancing our overall readiness.

It’s about more than just completing the mission, as many on the trip noted.

“It was just good to get up here and work together,” stated Religious Affairs Journeyman, Tech. Sgt. Elisha White. “We get to know each other more on a human level, strengthening our team.”