NEWS | June 22, 2018

Wing Immersion Program Sets Airmen Up for Success

By Airman 1st Class Matthew Gilmore 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- The first day at a new job is always a little stressful. It stems from a fear of the unknown. Questions about training, management and success weigh on the brain as the nerves of making a great first impression settle in.

For the Airmen who participated in the 2nd Quarter Wing Immersion Program at Yokota Air Base, Japan, June 20, 2018, they had a chance to have their own first day at a new job free from all of those stresses.

The program, a quarterly event inspired by the concept of developing world-class Airmen through mentorship, allowed individuals from a variety of Air Force Specialty Codes from across Yokota to essentially trade jobs for the day. Offering up the opportunity to experience not only the roles other Airmen from different squadrons play in supporting the mission but develop new friendships among the participating service members and organizations.

“Our objective was to enrich the mindset of our young Airmen,” said Tech. Sgt. Casey Jones, 374th Maintenance Squadron isochronal maintenance craftsman and planning member of the program. “We wanted our participants to really experience firsthand a role and perspective other than their own. We also really wanted to eliminate inter-service biases while simultaneously providing them mentorship outside of their usual scope.”

This quarter’s immersion program included five mentors from the 374th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 374th Medical Group, 374th Security Forces Squadron, 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron, and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations 6th Field Investigations Squadron. Each participating organization partnered up with another to send two Airmen to experience a day in the life of a different AFSC.

One pairing of the day was that of the 374 LRS and 374 SFS. The 374 SFS provided a K-9 presentation while the 374 LRS provided a package building presentation. For the Airmen lucky enough to experience the event, it was a day to remember.

“Today really was an amazing day,” said Airman 1st Class Boaz Rogel, 374 SFS patrolman. “We ended up getting paired up with the 374 LRS and it was truly eye opening getting to see the job they do here at Yokota. The personnel from the 374 LRS Deployment and Distribution Flight greeted us with a warm welcome and taught us how to build and pack shipping containers.

“The experience was completely different from my normal work, but it was incredibly fulfilling being able to be a part of different aspect of Yokota. It’s an experience I will always carry with me.”

As the Airmen from different AFSC’s worked together to build containers they were simultaneously building the bonds that have become the backbone of the Yokota community.

“The relationships we made today were very special,” said Staff Sgt. Charles Jaunich, 374 SFS base defense operations center controller. “Today was a day for us to go to work with people that we may normally never get to see work. We all know everyone has a role to play in regards to providing and supporting our mission, but actually getting to see and learn the role the 374 LRS plays gave me an even greater appreciation and respect for what they do.”

Despite only being at their temporary new work locations for a few hours, the experience participants gained was priceless.

“I think the more Airmen that get to experience this program the stronger those Airmen will become and thus the stronger our team will become,” said Jaunich. “I can’t wait for more Airmen to get the experience I had today because I really do think when it comes to professional development only good can come from this. Seeing different work environments and interacting with people we don’t normally get to work with can really change one’s perspective and when it comes to growth, I think that is a great thing.”

If you would like to become involved with the 3rd Quarter Wing Immersion Program and help further develop the world-class Airmen Yokota has come to rely on, whether as a mentor or mentee. Please email Tech. Sgt. Casey Jones.