TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. - When Senior Airman Josh Lemley arrived to work that morning, he wasn’t expecting the change of status in threats and immediate tension to fill the room so quickly.
Lemley’s first deployment was to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Returning from overseas before the coup d’etat in July 2016 was a relief, yet he still had a concerning feeling for his team back in Turkey. Before the coup, he was instructed that there were threats already being made to the base. Despite all these dangerous threats, his training kicked in to complete the mission and stay vigilant.
“Compared to being at home station, you get an immediate sense of accomplishment, especially against the Islamic state of Iraq and Syria,” Lemley of the 507th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron said. “It’s all towards a good cause and it’s a really good feeling.”
His unit supported the A-10 Warthog, E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System, and AC-130 combat support missions against the terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria. After completing his first deployment overseas, his return to Oklahoma gave him a new perspective on the outside world.
With extensive training that aided him with his deployment, it also supported and prepared him in achieving a position as a civilian working as a fuels maintainer on the B-52 Stratofortress at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex Depot on Tinker Air Force Base.
“It showed that I not only had experience with military standards and protocol, Occupational Safety & Health Administration standards, but their standards as well,” Lemley said.
Traditional reservists enlist or cross over from active duty for various reasons such as being able to stay closer to family or to pursue higher education. Lemley’s reason was to pursue his Community College of the Air Force degree. Traditional reservists must perform regular duties and while keeping up to date on training and fitness and any certifications.
This must all be done within the one weekend out of the month and two weeks out of the year with no overdue or missed dates, which is a lot to tackle in a short amount of time. Senior Airman Lemley said he will do whatever it takes to ensure that happens and that the mission is complete.