Army in AlaskaCommunity
Michigan, Alaska Airmen Work Together to Make Deliveries
Story by TSgt Daniel Heaton on 09/03/2019
After spending two weeks training in Alaska, Staff Sgt. Otho Scarborough definitely knows his way around Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. As a ground transportation specialist in the Air National Guard, Scarborough is used to making the rounds at whatever base he is assigned.
“That’s what ground transportation is all about. We’re always hustling, always on the go,” he said.
Scarborough is one of about 30 Michigan Air National Guard personnel from the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan who are conducting annual training at the base in Alaska, working alongside both Alaska Air National Guard and active-duty Air Force personnel. The Michigan Airmen are members of the 127th Logistics Readiness Squadron, as Scarborough is; the 127th Communications Flight and 127th Wing headquarters. During the training, the Michigan personnel folded in with their Alaska counterparts and exchanged best practices, tips and ideas on how to best accomplish their assigned mission.
That meant Scarborough spent much of his time in a truck with Staff Sgt. Michael Durgin of the 176th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard. Together, the two Airmen made three daily supply runs around the base, picking up spare parts or equipment here and delivering them there. They also made a few special runs most days, to deliver time-sensitive materials.
“The thing that makes ground transportation interesting is if it comes on this base, we touch it. We are in every shop. We talk to everybody. We see it all,” Durgin said.
While the ground transportation Airmen spent much of their time making deliveries around the base, they are also trained on using forklifts, driving heavy-duty tractor-trailers and related vehicles.
“We have all the tools we need to get things to where they need to be,” Scarborough said.
Scarborough started out his career as a soldier in the Army. After a 20-year break in service, he became an Airmen in the Michigan Air National Guard.
“The Guard is a great opportunity. I only wish I had known about it sooner,” he said.