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NEWS | May 3, 2023

36th Aerial Port Squadron trains in Kadena

By Senior Airman Ann Butler 446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs (AFRC)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- For the airmen of the 36th Aerial Port Squadron (APS) being able to trust each other is an integral part to being able to perform their job successfully and efficiently.

As Reserve Citizen Airmen, each unit training assembly (UTA) weekend is jam-packed with training and readiness requirements, sometimes making it hard to fit in time to build relationships with coworkers outside of immediate job responsibilities.

One of the main ways 36th APS has been able to build integral relationships and improve their overall readiness, is by maximizing their annual tour days into one temporary duty (TDY) training assignment.

This year, members of 36th Aerial Port Squadron went TDY to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan.

During this annual training, the 36th APS partnered with their active duty counterparts of the 733rd Air Mobility Squadron working in cargo, freight, and passenger services.

“When we go and do these TDYs, we get to build trust with each other and I think that's really important for when we have missions to accomplish and we have to work as a team to solve problems.” Senior Airman Adina Call, a passenger services representative with the 36th Aerial Port Squadron said.

Call speaks about how TDY’s are very helpful for building trust and camaraderie, especially in a job where being able to support the mission requires that trust between coworkers.

“With these TDYs, it just feels like you are more connected as a squadron and it makes us more successful in doing our jobs.” Call said.

Last year the 36th APS went to Guam for their TDY, where after work they were able to experience the local culture together and just get to know each other better and build relationships.

The annual training in Guam was Call’s very first TDY.

“The best part about Guam is I got to know my unit really well. I felt a little bit like I was spending my time running around trying to get things done on the UTA weekends.” Call said. “So then when we went to Guam we actually got to see each other after work on hikes and after dinner and personalities came out and then I learned more about their family life or their personal life.”

While TDYs offer the group a chance to bond on a personal level, it also offers the Port Dawgs a chance to train and develop their job skills in situations they may not encounter at home.

“They are important because we get more hands-on actual real life situational experience. Where mostly on base we learn a lot and we study and then we get to apply it…I think it just helps us learn our job and solidify what we are doing.” Call said.

TDYs not only offer the opportunity for squadrons to be able to build trust between airmen, but the chance to solidify their skills, which makes them ready for deployment.

“Doing our annual training like this means not only are we learning the job, getting better, and improving our readiness, but we are also getting to go and see the world together, making memories and building our team.”

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