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News > Not armed but dangerous: 43rd FTS reservist volunteers for MC-12 mission
Not armed but dangerous: 43rd FTS reservist volunteers for MC-12 mission
Cutline: Col. Barre Seguin, 14th Flying Training Wing Commander presents Maj. David Kirk, 43rd Flying Training Squadron two Air Medals for his work during a deployment to Kandahar Afghanistan. Kirk volunteered to take the deployment in place of an active duty member. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Not armed but dangerous: 43rd FTS reservist volunteers for MC-12 mission

Posted 4/16/2012   Updated 4/16/2012 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Chase Hedrick
14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

4/16/2012 - COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Total Force Integration provides many benefits to the U.S. armed forces and here at Columbus Air Force Base our reservists fill in for active duty members on a daily basis.

One member of the 43rd Flying Training Squadron took the meaning of TFI to the next level, volunteering to take the place of an active duty member on a deployment to Kandahar Afghanistan.

Maj. David Kirk, a T-6 Texan Assistant Flight Commander served as a MC-12 Mission Commander and Assistant Director of Operations with the 361st Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

"It was the best experience of my military career bar none," said Kirk "We got to be on the front lines of OEF, we got to work with troops on the ground and we had a direct effect on what was going on the battlefield and the counter insurgency operation.

Kirk said that while the exact missions varied, they quickly relayed information gained in the air to Army and Marine forces on the ground.

"We really had significant impact in what was going on. It wasn't just a support role, not at all. It was a very direct effect, even though we weren't armed, we were all but armed," said Kirk.

The MC-12 mission has a very fast ops tempo said Kirk, noting some Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training graduates are being assigned MC-12's and will quickly be seeing what the mission is all about.

"Those are some lucky students, they're going to get to go straight to where the action is, get some combat experience," he said. "That's a great start for a young lieutenant's career."

Having seen some of the operations in Afghanistan from a bird's eye view, Kirk applauded the successes he had the opportunity to influence.

"We have the opportunity to do a lot of good work over there. All the coalition forces are doing good work in Afghanistan, trying to make it a place that won't be a threat to the United States or our allies anymore," he said. "I think we're doing a darned good job with that."

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