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Mission Support Flight

  • Published
  • By Capt. Kevin Heineman, PAO
The 185th Mission Support Flight (MSF) provides support for 185th members and their families. We also provide assistance to other Guard and Reserve forces and their family members throughout the tri-state area whether it be Air Force, Army or Navy. A friendly smile and very helpful attitude is what you can expect from each and every individual that works within the MSF.

The MSF office takes care of issuing Common Access Cards (CACs), dependent ID cards; Tri-Care and Tri-Care Reserve Select insurance eligibility and benefits; force management and manning; awards and decorations; re-enlistments; Officer Performance Reports; enlisted performance appraisals; officer and enlisted promotions; accessions, retirements and separations; selective retention; retention, GI Bill and other educational benefits; orders and deployments; dog tags and passports. As Master Sgt. Suzanne Meyer, NCOIC of Force Sustainment for the 185th and resident of Sioux City, Iowa says, "We are the Jack of all trades." In other words, they help people deal with lifes problems.

"We do a little bit of everything," said Senior Airman Amanda Ahlers, who is taking Healthcare Management courses through Bellevue University. "We will provide customer service to people that need assistance in accessing information online or when updating their personal information."

Meyer said the Mission Support Flight strives to provide the best customer service possible. She went on to add, that when people are not sure whether or not MSF can take care of their concerns, they should stop by or call anyway. "It is the best first stop. We handle so many things, that many people are amazed at what our area can do to help them," said Meyer. "If we can't help them we will personally walk them to another area or make phone calls to make sure they get the help they need."

The Mission Support Flight PERSCO Team was recognized during the most recent Operational Readiness Inspection as the only section on base to receive the highest rating of Outstanding. The Team provided phenomenal support to deployed wing leadership. They worked side by side with Lodging personnel to effectively in-process all arrivals, and achieved 100 percent personnel accountability within hours of the last person processing through the line. The PERSCO Team fostered an exemplary rapport with Services and Medical personnel to quickly identify casualties, enabling them to produce casualty and replacement request messages well within required time limits.

"The MSF works very hard as a team. Each person in MSF is trained in each others functional area so that anyone can step in and fill another's shoes when the need arises. This was a tremendous help during the ORI," said Meyer. Meyer has been around the world during her time with the unit. She has been deployed to Alaska, Hawaii, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey to name a few. She believes the training and work done with the Guard has prepared her to do her job anywhere in the world if needed. She uses each deployment as a learning tool to better prepare her for her job at the 185th. "I am better qualified to do my job here at the 185th," said Meyer. "Probably the best example I can give is my communication skills, I used to be a shy person but now I am much more outgoing." Meyer went on to say, "I guess the thing that stands out the most from all my deployments, is the fact that people from the 185th continually strive for excellence and that's what makes our unit stand out above the rest."

Though the personnel in MSF consider the personal service they provide as the backbone of the office, in today's computerized world, most requests for information or updates are accomplished online. "The biggest challenge for our area is that everything is going virtual," said Meyer. "Some people don't have easy access to a computer; this has posed a problem for some members. We are currently in the process of training Command Support Staff personnel in each unit/squadron to make certain personnel issues are resolved in a timely manner. The Command Support Staff will be available to assist members in accessing and updating their personal information through the use of a computer at the unit/squadron level. However, they are always welcome to come to our office for assistance."