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Rock Solid Warrior: Airman 1st Class Jared Kearns

Airman 1st Class Jared Kearns, 386th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron, marshalls a C-130J from the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing.  A1C Kearns is deployed from the 143rd Airlift Wing, Rhode Island Air National Guard (U.S. Air Force photo)

Airman 1st Class Jared Kearns, 386th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron, marshalls a C-130J from the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing. A1C Kearns is deployed from the 143rd Airlift Wing, Rhode Island Air National Guard (U.S. Air Force photo)

12/21/2013 -- SOUTHWEST ASIA -- The 386th Air Expeditionary Wing's Rock Solid Warrior of the Week is:

Rank/First & Last Name:
A1C Jared Kearns

Deployed Unit:
386th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Duty Title
Aircraft Crew Chief

Home unit/station:
143rd Airlift Wing
Quonset Air National Guard Base, Rhode Island

Family's military heritage:
I currently have one uncle in the Air National Guard. Both of my grandfathers have served as well.

What is your mission here?
My mission is to generate safe, reliable and mission ready aircraft.

What are some of the best parts of your mission?
One of my favorite parts of the mission is launching out an aircraft knowing that it's fulfilling a mission. There are many people that depend on safe and reliable C-130J service, so when I see the plane take off, I know that whoever is on the receiving end will be satisfied.

What are some of the challenges you face while conducting your mission, and how do you overcome them?
Crew chiefs run into several challenges on a daily basis. One of those challenges is to always meet the deadlines that are given to us. In the aircraft generation business things are always changing: flying schedules, fuel loads, cargo configurations, etc. So a big part of my job as a crew chief is to always maintain a degree of flexibility when changes and challenges come down. We (the aircraft maintainers) work together as a team to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

How does your job differ in a deployed environment vs. home base?
My job of actually generating aircraft here in the area of responsibility is very similar to what it is at home station. At both locations, safety is paramount. The big difference here in the AOR is the geographical location. In a deployed location you often don't have all the support agencies and processes that you are used to. You have to be quick on your feet and be ready to adapt to the situations that arise. We work long days and weeks and come up against many challenges that we are not always accustomed to.

How many times have you deployed?
This is my first deployment.

What makes this deployment unique?
This is my first deployment so that in its own makes it a unique experience. I've been looking forward to this opportunity since I volunteered to deploy many months ago. I knew I would be a great experience both professionally and personally.

Why did you join the Air Force?
I joined the Air Force to serve my country and better myself physically, mentally, and educationally. I wanted to see new places, experience things a lot of people don't ever get to see or do. Upon returning from this deployment I hope to start taking advantage of some of the education benefits by taking some college courses.

(The weekly Rock Solid Warrior program is a way to recognize and spotlight the Airmen of the 386th AEW for their positive impact, professionalism and commitment to the mission.)
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