349th FSS wins Wartime Readiness Legacy Award again

  • Published
  • By Rossi D. Pedroza
  • 349th Air Mobility Wing

Readiness pays off for the 349th Force Support Squadron at Travis AFB. A second-time recipient of the 2022 Air Force Reserve Command Force Support Wartime Readiness Legacy Award, the squadron won in the inaugural year of 2021.

The award recognizes AFRC's best FSS performance in leadership, performance, and innovation in wartime readiness preparation. The 349th FSS led the command in readiness training, readiness activities, and utilizing innovative tactics, techniques, and procedures to advance the organization's readiness strategy.

"What we have been doing is meeting several readiness factors," said Lt. Col. Faith Eudy, 349th FSS commander. "We must accelerate change or lose. What we have been focusing on is the action order sent down from the CAFR."

Lt. Gen. John Healy, Chief of the Air Force Reserve, AFRC Commander, published CAFR/MAJCOM Commander TASK Order #2022-1. Healy stated his priorities within the order for all AFRC Airmen to be "Ready Now" and navigate toward "Transforming for the Future."

Eudy explained the focus is on Airmen and leadership. She said the practice of looking at an action order and knowing how to prepare the warfighter for any challenge is critical to the upgrade training piece.

"The challenge over the last year is we went from paper-based records to a new system for training," said Eudy. She added the squadron's focus is on finding and addressing effective means to cut through any bureaucracy standing in the way of readiness.

The team innovators continuously look at processes that prove less time-consuming while maintaining a state of readiness that correlates with the CAFR's task order.

"Readiness in the FSS organization today is being multi-capable," said Tech. Sgt. Diontae Edwards, 349th FSS sustainment and fitness flight chief. "Our section has many career fields, but we all share the same training capabilities with shelters, bed downs, and moving people out the door. FSS is one of our biggest charges in getting our people prepared to deploy and receiving them when they get back."

The squadron also took on an active role in identifying training gaps. A significant focus was on home station readiness requirements. A continuous goal for the team is efficiently moving a member from yellow to green status quickly and preparing the Airmen for deployment. Hence, they are ready to execute the mission during an exercise.

"My responsibility is to have our members ready to deploy in 72 hours," said Master Sgt. Caleb Seitz, 349th FSS military personnel flight chief. "Our biggest challenge is if it is a last-minute task and the member cannot complete training or reschedule, the Airman will have to wait until the next unit training assembly. We must make sure they receive training and are ready."

Eudy commented one of the highest priorities is individual medical readiness. "This is where the team has really come together and pushed to get our medical readiness at 93% currently."

Another crucial area of readiness is cyber security and web technology. The FSS team maintains member readiness in the squadrons for compliance with computer operations and systems.

"As far as the wing's reservists go, we make sure that everyone's cyber security is up to date," said Tech Sgt. Derek Villa, 349th FSS client systems technician. "We counsel everyone so they understand what they can and cannot do when it comes to the network."

Villa said the most significant challenge regarding computers and account management is constantly improving customer education with computer updates and programs.

The 349th FSS remains steadfast in its mission statement to "provide combat-ready Airmen through human capital support, sustainment and cyber defense."

A positive force in the squadron's mission statement development in 2021 was Tech. Sgt. Siera Watkins, 349th FSS non-commissioned officer in charge of readiness. She said there had been a definitive overall improvement in readiness capabilities from last year.

"We had a good amount of deployers that were ready to deploy," said Watkins. "When they arrived at their location, they performed outstandingly."

The deployed reservists were placed in positions as supervisors in charge of different sections that were not in step with what they were accustomed to at the home station.

"This allocation of diverse supervision allowed the team to replan and replant members," said Watkins. "This action allowed leadership to evaluate their skills in a different and productive way."

Eudy reflected on how the 349th FSS will meet all the requirements and complete tasking with superior performance.

"I don't know if the squadron has ever been more ready, at least since I've been here," said Eudy.

"We're not only just striving to do what the Air Force Reserve wants us to do, but we go further into it, and comply with the priorities Gen. Mike Minahan, Air Mobility Command commander, and our MAJCOM sends out," said Eudy. "Col. Lee Merkle, our 349th AMW commander, communicates his four core priorities to the wing, so we remain focused on the goals, as well as to continue support to Col. Derek Salmi, 60th AMC commander, along with our total force mission partners here at Travis."

The 349th FSS commander said her NCOs are doing an outstanding job of caring for their Airmen and trying to help them understand where they fit in. Eudy said she recently spoke with two new Airmen who are recent arrivals at the squadron. She said she was impressed and confident in their abilities.

"Once again, we serve the wings," said Eudy. "We focus on the commander's mission, vision, and priorities for readiness and get the job done."

The Force Support Wartime Readiness Legacy Award is in memory of Mr. David Woodrow Holly, Jr., a former AFRC/A1R specialist.