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D&TF prioritizes training tomorrow’s Airmen today

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kayla Ellis
  • 419th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Each month, members of the Development and Training Flight participate in drill weekends with the 419th Fighter Wing. While these trainees have already enlisted in the Air Force, they’re not quite Airmen yet.

“Recruiters make sure you’re qualified for the Air Force, but it takes a bit more to get through Basic Military Training,” said Master Sgt. Blake Erickson, NCOIC of the D&TF. “I take the trainees that they enlist and I help prepare them for the BMT experience.”

After enlisting, but prior to BMT, trainees have the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience that will prepare them for their future in the Air Force.

“On drill weekends we bring them all in, just like a normal drill weekend, and we give them a taste of what the military is going to be like,” Erickson said. “We try to give them experience that will help them be successful.”

Trainees receive briefings on customs and courtesies, lessons on administrative policies, and are tested both mentally and physically. They are also given the opportunity to interact with the wing’s senior leaders to ask questions and get advice.

Khadija El Karroudi, a trainee from the D&TF, had a strong desire to serve for many years before finally enlisting in November 2021.

“I was given all this time to practice and train so I’ve seen a lot of changes,” El Karroudi said. “I look back at the progress and the things I’ve learned from D&TF and it’s rewarding.”

For information on joining the Air Force Reserve, call 1-800-257-1212 or visit