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Peer-to-Peer calls help Cable Dawgs make connections

  • Published
  • By Julie Svoboda
  • 82d Training Wing

Students from the 364th Training Squadron cable and antenna systems course gathered for the latest peer-to-peer call November 16, 2023, here. Airmen from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey joined the apprentice Cable Dawgs for a conference call meant to help them hit the ground running when they arrive at their first duty station, supporting the fully-mission capable Airmen initiative.

Tech. Sgt. John Earl, cable and antenna systems instructor, started the program after recalling his experience as a newly minted technician after graduating from tech school.

“I had a ton of questions about my first duty station,” he said. “My first duty station was Keesler Air Force Base, and it's a specialty unit where they go on temporary duty a lot. Nobody had any answers for me. And I just went into it with uncertainty, and I was a little unsure of what I was supposed to do. I think it bridges that gap. So, they're not in the dark. And they know what they're expected of them when their boots hit the ground.”

Airman Collin Kramer is one of four Turkey-bound students. Not only is Incirlik his first duty station, but it will also be his first time overseas. He asked questions about the dorms, life in Turkey and transportation issues. He said the peer-to-peer call helped alleviate some stress surrounding the next step in his Air Force career.

“It helps sort of integrate you into your unit,” he said. “You know what kinds of recreational activities you're going to be doing. You know what kinds of work you're going to be doing before you even get there. So, helps you mentally prepare for what that is going to be like.”

As the call progressed, AiTs headed to other locations stepped up to ask questions and learned from the collective experience of the Sheppard Instructors as well as the Incirlik Airmen, who discussed mission and conditions on bases ranging from Virginia to South Korea.

According to Staff Sgt. Justin Tribbett, Non-commissioned Officer in Charge of Cable and Antenna Operations at Incirlik, he and the other Airmen, which included two Senior Airmen and an Airman First Class, appreciated the opportunity to talk to the new Cable Dawgs.

“As a six-year Staff Sgt. in the United States Air Force, I remember getting to my first duty station, still fresh and new out of tech school, full of questions and energy,” he said. “So, when Tech. Sgt. Earl contacted my shop with the opportunity to mentor these fresh Cable pups, we jumped at the opportunity to share our knowledge and experience with them. The Airmen from Sheppard were full of questions, eager to know about the dorm life and all the activities around base. And the Cable Shop team from Incirlik AFB, brimming with excitement, stepped up and did their best in answering any questions they had and take part in this invaluable exchange.”

Tech. Sgt. Earl plans to schedule monthly peer-to-peer calls.