United we stand

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class David Salanitri
  • Joint Operations Center Public Affairs
"My mission is to fly, fight and win!" These words spoken in the Airman's Creed have never been truer than during the days where Airmen find themselves on the frontline in the Global War on Terror.

Airmen from all over the Air Force have recently found themselves filling roles that were typically filled by the Army, and Airmen from Team Nellis are no exception.

Capt. Steve Koly, 6th Combat Training Squadron, currently assigned to 18th Expeditionary Air Support Operations Group under Multi-National Corps - Iraq, and Senior Airman Joshua Johnson, 547th Intelligence Squadron, currently assigned to MNC-I C2 Coalition Analysis Control Element, are only a few of the many Nellis Airmen who have taken the fight to the enemy in the GWOT. Capt. Koly and Airman Johnson are not only patriots fighting the war, but also are a new breed of warrior Airmen, who are fighting along the sides of their sister services and more than 30 different nations.

"Working in a joint environment has broadened my career knowledge as well as military knowledge," said Airman Johnson. "Not having anyone from the Air Force in my immediate chain of command was different, and I've had to adapt to Army ways."

For Airmen deploying to fight as a part of a joint operation in Operation Iraqi Freedom, often the most daunting task is adapting to other services.

"The biggest challenge is understanding how the different services operate. Often times their mindset and method for solving problems can differ drastically from what you are accustomed to," said Capt. Koly. "Learning a whole new set of acronyms and translating from green to blue can also be a challenge."

At first many younger Airmen can be intimidated by the new environment, working with folks that operate different from the way they are used to. Airmen have two options: be hard-headed and not embrace the joint environment, or adapt and overcome to accomplish the mission.

"Serving in a joint environment means looking beyond your own service's scope of view, understanding how other branches think and operate, and integrating them in the most efficient manner to accomplish the mission at hand," said Capt. Koly.

Serving in a joint environment can be a trying, but rewarding experience. As Airmen continue to embrace the warrior mentality, they find themselves proud and willing to fill a joint operation slot again.

"I would definitely work in a joint environment again," concluded Airman Johnson. "I am very proud to fight the Global War on Terror along the side of my brother and sister services."