Spouses observe 353rd SOG mission

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman John Linzmeier
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs
The 353rd Special Operations Group held a Spouse’s Day event Oct. 8, as an opportunity to provide family members a better understanding of the day-to-day operations conducted within the group.

More than 130 spouses were provided a mission capability briefing by the SOG command team, a tour of the 320th Special Tactics Squadron and orientation flights around the island on an MC-130J Commando II and an MC-130H Combat Talon II during the event.

“We’re excited to have you all here so we can show you our mission and what we do,” said Col. William C. Freeman, 353rd Special Operations Group commander. “Most of us are half a world away from our loved ones, parents and other family members, but there’s a very good reason for us to be out here in the Pacific theater. Simply put - to go out and execute special operations.”

The men and women who comprise the 353rd SOG conduct a variety of high-priority, low-visibility missions. The unit’s Airmen are frequently called upon to leave the island for deployments, temporary duty assignments and additional training, leaving families separated on a regular basis.

The group’s capabilities are often used to provide humanitarian assistance for disasters, resupplies to friendly forces and sometimes aids in search and rescue operations; all can be requested at a moment’s notice.

Freeman said mission requirements can take a toll on military families, making it important for spouses to understand what goes into their significant other’s job description.

“It was great for leadership to come out and remind us that, a lot of the time, our active duty members can’t do everything they do without us,” said Virginia Kemp, 353rd SOG Key Spouse member, “So it was good to be reminded that we are included and know that we also play a key role.”

A healthy family life at home can drastically improve an Airman’s morale and effectiveness at work, especially when spending an extended amount of time away from loved ones.

After spending the day interacting with special operations equipment, static displays and Airmen from various career fields, the spouses went home with a broadened perspective of their significant other’s livelihood.

“Today has been a good reminder that even though you have your family at home the SOG is also an extension to our family too,” said Kemp. “So it’s important for us to all, even the littlest person, to come together to help accomplish the mission.”