Reserve Citizen Airmen: living locally, serving globally

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kekoa Santiago
  • 452 AMW Public Affairs

Abrupt hums of military aircraft overhead can turn heads toward the sky and silence any conversation occurring in the cities surrounding March Air Reserve Base, California. Some might say that those ‘sounds of freedom’ are a daily reminder that the community’s local Air Force Reserve is still working tirelessly day and night, living locally, serving globally.

The work and service provided by local Reserve Citizen Airmen involves much more than the flying mission. March ARB has the capability, and manpower trained in the correct skillsets, to make it the ideal environment to combat such a threat as COVID-19 in our pandemic-affected world.

From medical services, to security forces, our Airmen have the ability to mobilize and deploy  anywhere in the world at any time needed.

Many of March’s Reserve Citizen Airmen, serving as doctors, nurses and medical technicians, recently mobilized within hours. They boarded C-17 Globemaster III’s for flights to New York City, the COVID-19 epicenter at the time.

“Our Airmen have done so much to uphold our core values of accountability, professionalism, integrity and excellence during these adverse times,” said Brig. Gen. Melissa Coburn, 452nd Air Mobility Wing commander. “I continue to be very, very  proud of them for stepping up to support local and global missions at a moment’s notice and without hesitation.”

At the initial stages of the outbreak, the spotlight was placed on March ARB, which became the first location in the U.S. to provide safety and security for American citizens evacuated from China. The rapid development of the growing crisis meant that a multitude of March’s Reserve Citizen Airmen needed to be at the ready to support such an enormous and unprecedented global request in a matter of hours. Due to ongoing training and a constant state of readiness, March Reserve Citizen Airmen met that need quickly and seamlessly.

Not only are March ARB Airmen continuing their duties in a COVID-19 environment, they excelled in those responsibilities prior to the pandemic as well.

The 452nd Security Forces Squadron was recently awarded the United States Air Force Outstanding Unit “Air Reserve Component” Award. This prestigious award is reviewed at the Pentagon level by candidates from various career fields across the nation. It is an incredible honor for the March ARB team to win and clearly demonstrated the dedication our Team March Reserve Citizen Airmen embody.

“The mission never stops. Our Airmen are at work during peace times, war, natural disasters or humanitarian relief” Coburn said. “We stand ready to support the mission at hand.”

The mission continues for Team March, and it does so in a big way. From the everyday protection and security provided by the award-winning security forces squadron, to the medical personnel who have the skillset to take on a growing pandemic, the mission continues. From the pilots, aircrew members and maintainers who are at the ready to launch those jets at a moment’s notice, to the support personnel, without whom there would be no mission accomplished, March ARB trains professionals committed to excellence and to the highest state of readiness in support of national objectives at home and abroad, to provide efficient and effective service while enhancing the environment, the installation, and its heritage in partnership with the local community.

If you have or know someone who has the mental makeup to take on these global challenges, call or visit your local Air Force Reserve recruiter. And if you happen to hear those ‘sounds of freedom’ overhead, know that Team March is on the job for you.