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Airmen ‘hack the mish’ through professional development

Col. Samantha Weeks, 14th Flying Training Wing commander, welcomes members of Team BLAZE to Fight’s On: Airmen Hackin’ the Mish, a professional development day, Dec. 7, 2018, on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. This Airmen Development initiative hosted representatives from various career fields from across the Air Force. 14th FTW Airmen listened first-hand to battlefield Airmen’s combat stories to help understand the Wing’s contribution to developing combat Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Hannah Bean)

Col. Samantha Weeks, 14th Flying Training Wing commander, welcomes members of Team BLAZE to Fight’s On: Airmen Hackin’ the Mish, a professional development day, Dec. 7, 2018, on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. This Airmen Development initiative hosted representatives from various career fields from across the Air Force. 14th FTW Airmen listened first-hand to battlefield Airmen’s combat stories to help understand the Wing’s contribution to developing combat Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Hannah Bean)

Master Sgt. Benjamin Leininger, assigned to the 822nd Base Defense Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, speaks to members of Team Blaze during Fight’s On: Airmen Hackin’ the Mish, Dec. 7, 2018, on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. Representatives from various career fields across the Air Force spoke to members of Team BLAZE about their combat missions and experiences in today’s Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Hannah Bean)

Master Sgt. Benjamin Leininger, assigned to the 822nd Base Defense Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, speaks to members of Team Blaze during Fight’s On: Airmen Hackin’ the Mish, Dec. 7, 2018, on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. Representatives from various career fields across the Air Force spoke to members of Team BLAZE about their combat missions and experiences in today’s Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Hannah Bean)

Dr. Daniel Haulman, Air Force Historical Research Agency historian, recounts the Attack on Pearl Harbor and numerous other bases during Fight’s On: Airmen Hackin’ the Mish, Dec. 7, 2018, on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. In honor of the 77th anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor, Columbus AFB reflected on its military heritage and the daring acts performed in defense of the nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Hannah Bean)

Dr. Daniel Haulman, Air Force Historical Research Agency historian, recounts the Attack on Pearl Harbor and numerous other bases during Fight’s On: Airmen Hackin’ the Mish, Dec. 7, 2018, on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. In honor of the 77th anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor, Columbus AFB reflected on its military heritage and the daring acts performed in defense of the nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Hannah Bean)

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Members of the 14th Flying Training Wing attended Fight’s On: Airmen Hackin’ the Mish, a professional development day, Dec. 7, at the Club here.

This Airmen development initiative hosted representatives from various combat career fields from across the Air Force. 14th FTW Airmen listened first-hand to battlefield Airmen’s combat stories to help understand the Wing’s contribution to developing combat Airmen.

Those career fields included tactical air control party, security forces, combat weather, pilots and explosive ordnance disposal.

“We took the opportunity to make sure we are developing our Airmen personally and professionally,” said Col. Samantha Weeks, 14th FTW commander. “This program is a way for us, once a quarter, to try to cultivate our Airmen and connect them to each other and the bigger Air Force mission.”

Weeks said young officers and enlisted Airmen were brought in to show how they have been called upon with short notice to go down range in support of the United States’ mission.

She said she wanted Team BLAZE to see what “we are doing down range on a daily basis. There’s a lot of great lessons to be learned from people who have gone and done the job to understand why we need to be ready.”

Airmen socialized with the guest speakers and learned more about the speaker’s experiences and gained more knowledge on what could be expected of them in the future.

“It’s a great opportunity to hear some really cool stories from some really cool people and to basically get to know them, their mission, and why what we do here matters,” said Maj. Thomas Hyde, 14th FTW Commander’s Action Group chief. “We want Airmen to learn and grow. We also want them to connect themselves to the mission and why it’s important that they strive to always be ready.”

The professional development day was also tied to the 77th anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor. This gave Columbus AFB an opportunity to reflect on its military heritage and the daring acts fellow Airmen executed during the attack, in defense of the U.S.