JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas --
The 340th Flying Training Group held its spring mandatory unit training assembly (MUTA) at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, on June 8-9.
During the MUTA, Col. Roger Suro, 340 FTG commander, presented an overview of his strategic priorities, his leadership vision, and emphasized adherence to Department of Defense and Air Force Reserve Command diversity and inclusion initiatives. He communicated to the Citizen Airmen of the 340 FTG that showing respect for fellow Airmen through diversity and inclusion does not mean simply tolerating them; it means getting to know them and learning to accept them even though they might be different from you. Further, he said, “To remain the world’s greatest Air Force we must fully and inclusively leverage the talents of all our Airmen. We can best serve the Airmen of today and tomorrow by showing them by example how to become servant leaders. If we take care of the people -- they will take care of the mission.”
Airmen also received briefings on the Blended Retirement System, the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program and the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program.
The YRP presentation by Senior Master Sgt. Diana Marlette featured information on the Wingman Toolkit’s four quadrants: mental, physical, spiritual and social. Marlette explained that the goal of the YRP is to educate and empower warriors and their families by connecting them with resources throughout the deployment cycle.
After a brief overview of the Air Force Wounded Warrior program, MUTA attendees received a resilience testimony briefing from Staff Sgt. Sebastiana Lopez-Arellano, who lost her right leg in a motorcycle crash in 2015.
Lopez-Arellano said that after the crash she thought she was going to die but a little voice inside her would not let her give up. She said her love for sports aided her healing. Lopez-Arellano signed up for AFW2 warrior events and adaptive and rehabilitative sports training. A year after her crash, she competed in the Air Force Trials for wounded warriors and gained confidence by earning invitations to the Invictus and Warrior Games. She captured two gold medals in rugby and hand cycling, and three silver medals in shotput, discus and in another hand cycling event at the Invictus Games. Lopez-Arellano said, “Don't overwhelm yourself thinking about the future. Take it one day at a time. As long as you put the hard work into it, you can do whatever you want."
Several airmen received medals during the two-day MUTA:
Air Force Meritorious Service Medal - Col. Michael Vanzo, Maj. Teresa Davies and Master Sgt. Kourtney Willich
Air Force Commendation Medal – Tech. Sgt. Gilberto Hernandez III and Staff Sgt. Janina White
HQ AFRC/FM Chief Master Sgt. Larry P. Gonzales Superintendent OTY 2016 - Senior Master Sgt. Michelle Cartagena
AFRC General George Kenney Lessons Learned Award – Undergraduate Flying Training: Lt. Col. Timothy Chapman, Lt. Col. Lee Glenn, Lt. Col. Brian Frisbey, Maj. Hunter Letchman, Maj. Laura Andrade, Maj. Andrew Grieb, Master Sgt. Vianca Contreras, Master Sgt. Tainell Pettengill, Master Sgt. Randy Alvis and Tech. Sgt. Natasha Todd.
AFRC Surgeon General Seasonal Influenza Immunizations Program Superior Performance Award Group Category. - 340 FTG, Master Sgt. Jennifer Robles
Instructor Pilot - Maj. Amy Lewis, 70 FTS
Company Grade Officer - Capt. Katrina Gagner, 5 FTS
Field Grade Officer - Maj Jonathon Somogyi, 39 FTS
Support Officer – Lt. Col. Sara Linck, 5 FTS
Citizen Airman – Maj. Christina Hopper, 5 FTS
Senior Noncommissioned Officer – Master Sgt Jason Wagner, 433 TRS
Noncommissioned Officer – Tech. Sgt. Hugo Escobedo, 433 TRS
Instructor Pilot - Maj. Wade Dahlgreen, 96 FTS
Company Grade Officer - Capt. Heather Fletcher, 96 FTS
Field Grade Officer - Maj. Charles Albertson, 43 FTS
Support Officer – Maj. Joya Gamara, 340 FTG
Citizen Airman – Lt. Col. Felicia Mohr, 70 FTS
Senior Noncommissioned Officer - Master Sgt. Greg Brown, 340 FTG
Noncommissioned Officer – Tech. Sgt. Brett Daniel, 340 FTG
Certificate of Service – Ms. Kristal Gault – 10 years
Combined Federal Campaign Gold Award for Superior Achievement – Technical Sgt. Brianne Blackstock
Key Personnel List – Col. Charlan Poirson (MAF), Col. Sean Bittner (CAF), Lt. Col. Wendy Woodard (MAF), Maj. Stacie Billington (CAF), Maj. Brandon LaValley (CAF) and Maj. Joya Gamara (BSC)
Several members were also recognized for outstanding educational achievements and perfect physical fitness scores.
Tech. Sgt. Nimsi Martinez Flores– Esthetician license, Tech. Sgt. Brett Daniel – NCOLDC and Whalen Baptist University President’s List Fall 2016 and Spring 2017, Tech. Sgt. Faith Wells – NCOLDC, Tech. Sgt. Roxanne Rodriguez – NCOLDC, Tech. Sgt. Corrin Pardaen – NCOA, and Staff Sgt. Karif Cortiella – NCOLDC
Col. Roger Suro, Lt. Col. Mark Hiatt, Lt. Col. Brain Frisbey, Lt. Col. Woody Halstead, Maj. Myla Abejuela, Capt. Matt Miller, 1st Lt. Jairus Wilkerson, Senior Master Sgt. Samuel Caballero, Senior Master Sgt. Laura Merritt, Tech. Sgt. Jessica Aloy, Tech. Sgt. Nimsi Martinez Flores, Staff Sgt. Janina White and Staff Sgt. Donte Russell
Suro ended the commander’s call portion of the MUTA by zeroing in on one of his strategic priorities: showcasing the value of the 340 FTG. Suro shared recent Facebook and 340 FTG website stats encouraging everyone to engage with and promote the 340 FTG’s online presence.
The day ended with a picnic and family fun in Eberle Park.