From the Frontlines: Senior Airman Daniel Baumgartner

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Montse Ramirez
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Senior Airman Daniel Baumgartner, 509th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter, returned to this Air Force Global Strike Command base from his five-month deployment to Southwest Asia in May.

By keeping Airmen safe, Airman Baumgartner and his unit ensured the mission was executed.

"We dealt with everything from hazardous material fires to hot brakes on an aircraft," Airman Baumgartner said. "There were three fire stations at our base. My area of responsibility was the flightline."

Airman Baumgartner said the fire protection team had 24-hour shifts, and when they weren't putting out fires they were conducting training.

"We did a lot of the same things Whiteman does, but on a different scale," Airman Baumgartner said. "It was an eye-opening experience to see a more direct impact of your work on the mission."

During his off time, Airman Baumgartner said he participated in many volunteer opportunities.

"One day we had lunch with about 15 high-school aged locals and talked to them about our culture and they answered questions about theirs," Airman Baumgartner said. "It really helped bolster the host nation relations. They were all excited to meet us, and vice versa."

Another way Airman Baumgartner utilized his time and efforts was by directly supporting the blood drive and ensuring the blood bags hadn't been damaged.

"There were 334 units total that were able to be sent to save military members lives," said Tech. Sgt. Alexander Jones, assistant chief of operations and Airman Baumgartner's supervisor while deployed.

Airman Baumgartner said the best part of his deployment was being able to go off-base to get to know his surroundings.

"Just being there and being able to emerge myself in their culture, their malls and shop in their downtown areas was amazing," Airman Baumgartner said. "It was great to experience another way of life."

He said even though it was a great experience, he was happy to come back and see his pregnant wife, Lexi.

"I couldn't have asked for a better first deployment," he said. "I'd love to come back if the opportunity presents itself again."