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Wisconsin Airmen gain state mission insight

Thirty-three Airmen and their first sergeants pose in front of one of the Leadership Development Course water obstacles at the Volk Field Air National Guard Base, Camp Douglas, Wis., July 27, 2016. Airmen traveled from across the state of Wisconsin to participate in the Junior Enlisted Orientation Program held throughout the state July 26-28.

Thirty-three Airmen and their first sergeants pose in front of one of the Leadership Development Course water obstacles at the Volk Field Air National Guard Base, Camp Douglas, Wis., July 27, 2016. Airmen traveled from across the state of Wisconsin to participate in the Junior Enlisted Orientation Program held throughout the state July 26-28.

MADISON, Wis. -- Thirty-three Airmen from across the state of Wisconsin participated in the Junior Enlisted Orientation Program held throughout the state July 26-28.

The program gave enlisted Airmen a chance to travel to the 115th Fighter Wing, Volk Field Air National Guard Base and the 128th Air Refueling Wing, gaining insight into the various missions each has and how they work together.

Master Sgt. Adam Zuniga, 115th Force Support Squadron first sergeant, was one of the leaders during this year's events.

"JEOP is an opportunity for Airmen from all the different units to get to know each other and get to know the mission of the Wisconsin Air National Guard," Zuniga said. "When we decide who gets to attend, we're looking for the cream of the crop. People who want to excel, people who want to get out of their comfort zone, people who aren't afraid to get to know other people, people who are curious to find out what goes on at each base."

Staff Sgt. Robert Bishop, 128th Medical Group biomedical equipment technician, was one of the Airmen selected to attend this year's event.

According to Bishop, the JEOP gave him an opportunity to network with Airmen whose air force specialty codes are not necessarily common to his base.

"Through touring the Madison and Volk Field Air National Guard bases, I was given a general understanding of a variety of career fields I was not aware existed within the Wisconsin Air National Guard," he said. "Briefs by base leadership and Brigadier General Ebben provided unique perspectives on how each base and the Wisconsin Air National Guard, contribute to the Department of Defense's objectives of defending liberty and protecting U.S. citizens worldwide."

The Airmen had the opportunity to ride to Volk Field from Madison in a UH-60 Blackhawk, fly in a KC-135 Stratotanker, and tour various areas across the bases including the F-16 Fighting Falcon maintenance hangar, the explosive ordnance disposal area, the air control tower and the air control squadron facilities, to name a few.

"JEOP was a wonderful experience," Bishop said. "I encourage all Airmen to apply to JEOP for it is truly a unique and educational experience."

The first sergeants are already planning for next year's event, but still enjoying the memories made with this group of Airmen.

"This group was awesome," Zuniga said. "They were motivated. They were here for the right reasons, and they just clicked. It really was a great group of Airmen to work with."
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