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307th takes wingman concept up a notch

By Airman 1st Class Andrea F. Liechti 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

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Wingmanship, dedication and pride are just a few of the qualities shared by Airmen, both active and reserve, assigned to the 307th Maintenance Squadron here.

The active-duty Airmen are part of a Total Force Integration. TFI is used to integrate active and reserve Airmen into a consolidated force to ensure the Barksdale mission is effectively and efficiently accomplished.

According to Master Sgt. Russell Pullum, 2 MXS TFI superintendent, a couple differences between active and reserve Airmen in the maintenance field are the number of bases each is assigned to and the number of airframes each works on. Active-duty Airmen typically have served at several duty stations and worked on various airframes, while reservists typically stay at the same base and may work on the same plane throughout their careers.

"TFI is a great opportunity for our active Airmen," Pullum said. "It gives them a chance to learn from reservists who have been working on the same airframe for the past 20 to 25 years. You can't find that level of expertise anywhere else."

Maj. Leo Kamphaus Jr., 307th MXS commander, has been overseeing this integration for the past year.

"The TFI program at Barksdale is the benchmark for how effective TFI can be," he said. "There is an abundance of knowledge to be shared between the reserve and the active duty. TFI allows us to do that."

The Air Reserve Technicians take pride in the B-52 and enjoy sharing their knowledge, Kamphaus said.

ARTs are reservists who work full-time during the week in addition to their traditional reservist military duty. They are just like their active duty counterparts, and participate in deployments, exercises, inspections, physical training and supporting the local flying mission.

"The reserve force is a professional, volunteer force that loves to do their job," said Kamphaus. "They are dedicated to the nation's defense."

Barksdale is home to more than 350 Air Force ARTs, active duty and traditional reservists blended together to accomplish the missions at Barksdale.

"The teamwork these Airmen demonstrate is incredible," Pullum said. "They come together every single day and demonstrate how to effectively be a great wingman. Their passion toward the B-52 is incredible."