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Tour sparks new recruit flashback moment

D&TF program helps future airmen transition to serving their country

New recruits from the 446th Airlift Wing Development and Training Flight tour a Rainier Wing C-17. Photo credit: 1st Lt. Alyssa Hudyma

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Each drill weekend, new recruits from the 446th Airlift ‘Rainier' Wing's Development and Training Flight get exposure to important aspects of serving in the military, including getting to check out a C-17 Globemaster III and interact with the aircrew.

The aircrew shared rewarding stories about their military experience, and for one of the crew members, the visiting new recruits brought back her D&TF memories.

"I was in the D&TF for nearly six months and enjoyed meeting the people who would later be coworkers, but who quickly became friends," said Staff Sgt. Liana Williams, 97th Airlift Squadron loadmaster. "Going through the physical fitness standards in a military environment helped me to know what I could expect physically, and the multitude of classes helped me achieve the highest end of course score in both my basic military training flight and my brother flight."

The new recruits also spent time with 2nd Lt. Mitchell Williams, 97th AS pilot, who taught them about the capabilities of the C-17.

The D&TF program helps future Reserve Citizen Airmen prepare for Basic Military Training and make the transition to serving their country.

The program has roughly 25-30 trainees at any given time and students spend about six to eight months in the D&TF before BMT. During that time they are mentored on a wide variety of military knowledge and skills to prepare them.

"We try to introduce a curriculum that teaches them about our core values and military culture," said Tech. Sgt. John Hillenbrand, wing coordinator of the D&TF. "We cover topics about Air Force History, wingmen culture, and other key pieces of information to help them be better prepared for BMT.

This is a great opportunity, we are these airmen's first impression of the Air Force, so we have a big responsibility and I'm happy to be a part of this program," said Hillenbrand.

Offering more than just his own activities and lectures, Hillenbrand also brings in several guest speakers to help reinforce some of the skills necessary for success in BMT and the Air Force.

Rainier Wing recruiters bring in the new recruits, and the D&TF is an integral part of the recruiting process here. The Recruiting Office can be reached at 253.982.3501 for more information.

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