Military News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pope Field spouses take flight

by Tech. Sgt. Elizabeth Moody
440th Airlift Wing, Public Affairs


9/21/2014 - POPE ARMY AIRFIELD, N.C.  -- The 440th Airlift Wing sponsored a spouse flight aboard a C-130 Hercules here, Sept. 21.  About 50 spouses took to the skies to see first-hand what it is their reservists do supporting the wing's mission at Pope Field.

"The goal is to have a nice introduction of the C-130 flying community and extend that to the spouses so that they understand the importance of what their spouse does every day in terms of flying," said Maj. Kristie Piotrowicz, 95th Airlift Squadron navigator, here.

For many of the spouses, this was their first flight on a military aircraft.  The training mission took the participants through their spouses' work day starting with a pre-flight mission briefing before moving to the C-130 aircraft. The two-hour flying mission then took the spouses on a track south to Charleston, S.C., and back.

Crystal Maver, married for four years to Master Sgt. Michael Maver, 53rd Aerial Port Squadron cargo supervisor here, said she was particularly excited about the orientation flight because she loves every aspect of her husband's military career.

"I love him being in the military and I'm super proud of him," said Maver.  "Michael thought this would be a good way for me to see what he does on the weekends and how they actually operate."

Making sure spouses and families know how important they are is a top priority of the 440th Airlift Wing leadership.

"Brig. Gen. Scanlan, Col. Schmitkons and Chief Master Sgt. Hart are serious about Airmen," said Col. Sharon Johnson, 440th Maintenance Group commander here.  "We can't have Airmen without their families and one thing that the general can do for recruiting and retention is to allow their spouses an opportunity to experience a little bit of our life."

A big part of that life at Pope Field is supporting the C-130 mission.

"Our wing leadership wanted to offer this opportunity for our Airmen and their spouses," said Johnson.  "That's how much we value them."

It's important for spouses to be agile and understand when we have to deploy, said Johnson.

"So we're here supporting them, showing them what we do and giving them a taste of what we're all about."

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