509th Force Support Squadron is always ready to assist

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Nash Truitt
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

There is a face behind every weight lifted, meal served, and sporting event held at Whiteman.

Services Airmen continually develop skills, making them more versatile and mission capable and ensuring that there are weights to be lifted, meals to be served, and events to be held.

The 509th Force Support Squadron (FSS), Sustainment Services Flight directly affects many Airmen’s lives across Whiteman Air Force Base. They hone their skills by changing their jobs to gain a better insight on how to best serve service members and their families.

“People usually try to give you a two-year rotation so you can hit that core for your training,” said Senior Airman Zachary Holmes, 509th FSS fitness assessment cell leader. “I have seen people move sooner though, at a moment’s notice you could be moving to food or moving to fitness.”

Adaptability is necessary for mission success.

Holmes has demonstrated this in his work preforming duties as a fitness assessment cell leader, sports manager shift lead, mortuary affairs member and food services specialist.

“Moving between jobs keeps me on my toes,” he said. “It has given me the ability to change even when it is uncomfortable, which I feel has made me a more valuable asset to my organization.”

However, Senior Master Sgt. Eric Lawlor, 509th FSS Sustainment Services Flight chief, said moving Airmen between jobs isn’t always easy.

“It is a constant battle we face in this career field,” said Lawlor. “I must manage continuity with development and think about what is best for team Whiteman’s customer base, while ensuring an Airman’s growth.”

With each new area that a services Airman gets moved to, they face new challenges. However, new solutions and expertise soon follow, allowing the Airman to grow and become more well-rounded.

“Airman development and making them more well-rounded is critical,” said Lawlor. “We are a very generalist career field, and the Air Force needs us to be that. The Air Force is using the term multi-capable Airmen, and we fit directly into that wheelhouse.”   

It is more than just the job and its requirements that change. The Sustainment Services Flight’s potential jobs all revolve around people and how best to assist them.

“I know that people need a safe space, and I feel like we provide that with the gym,” said Holmes. “It is easier to go out and do what is expected of you whenever you have a place you can go to when it is done. These types of things are needed, and I think it helps people complete the mission.”

Services Airmen, like Holmes, who adapt and continuously strive to provide their best work help ensure that the Airmen at Whiteman AFB are mission ready.