Junior Warhawks run pre-deployment formation line

  • Published
  • By Nicholas Harnack, 55th Wing Public Affairs

The 55th Wing played host to a significant, heartwarming event called Operation Warhawk Junior at the Offutt Field House, Sept. 23, 2023.

The event hosted by Military & Family Readiness and the 55th Force Support Squadron, was created to impart a profound understanding of the deployment process to the young minds of military children.

“It gives me pride to share the experiences that my husband and I have been through, and they get to experience a little of what it’s like to deploy. Mainly because we haven’t talked with them about this much at this age,” said Chief Master Sgt. Tabetha Sanders 55th Operations Group.

Event volunteers presented school-age participants with a checklist upon their arrival. On the checklist were stations that encompassed a range of essential skills, including survival evasion resistance escape or SERE, medical procedures, chaplain services and simulated firearms handling. As children completed their stations, they received a sticker for that task.

This checklist tracked their progress and served as a tangible reminder of their journey. Children who completed their checklist received a prize. An even greater reward for their hard work and training is an expression of gratitude for service members’ unwavering dedication.

“I’ve deployed four times and my children are here going through the line and whenever we can share that experience what we go through to help them understand, it makes things easier and gives us special moments to create with our families,” said Staff Sgt. Nathaniel Jackson with the 55th Medical Group.

The 55th Wing is one of the Air Force’s most in-demand units along with other tenants that call Offutt home. This event served as a fun and informative lesson for families who have wanted to experience the intricacies of deployment. It provided an invaluable opportunity for participants to engage in a wide array of activities, fostering a deeper connection with military life.

By imparting a deeper understanding of the deployment process to military children, Operation Warhawk Junior strengthened the bonds within military families and celebrated the vital role these families play in the Air Force’s mission to protect the United States.

“I hope this gives my kids a sense of empowerment. We train so that we don’t feel a sense of hopelessness in the most crucial situations. Even knowing to call 911 and knowing you can put a splint on to stabilize a broken wound and apply bandages and hold pressure to stop bleeding, crucial life skills, I think everybody to have that,” said Jackson.