148th Fighter Wing Airmen support Operation Allies Welcome

  • Published
  • By Audra Flanagan
  • 148th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Earlier this year, the Secretary of Defense approved the Department of Defense, through U.S. Northern Command, to provide temporary housing, sustainment, and support inside the United States for Afghan personnel for a mission titled Operation Allies Welcome. 

The Department of Defense is providing temporary housing and support for at least 50,000 Afghan personnel at numerous military installations within the Continental United States. These installations currently include Camp Atterbury, Ind.; the Virginia National Guard's Fort Pickett Maneuver Training Center near Blackstone, Va.; Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va; Fort Lee, Va.; Holloman AFB, N.M.; Fort McCoy, Wis.; Fort Bliss, Texas; and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. DoD will provide transportation and temporary housing, care, including meals, medical services, and other daily needs for Afghan personnel at these locations.

The 148th Fighter Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard has more than a dozen Airmen supporting these missions at both Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. and Holoman Air Force Base, N.M.  Each of these Airmen quickly adapted to roles outside of their military job description to meet the needs of this mission. 

148th Maintenance Operations Flight Senior Enlisted Leader, Chief Master Sgt. Dawn Teachworth is currently serving as the Village 1 Senior Enlisted Leader at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst where she’s responsible for ensuring 200 Airmen supporting Operation Allies Welcome have the tools they need to be successful.  Teachworth is also a member of the female engagement team within her village, where she participates in weekly meetings designed to teach Afghan females about American women’s culture.

When asked what her favorite part of this mission, Teachworth said, “The children.  Each day I watch the children play in the streets of our village and I think about all the exciting things that are ahead of them.  Will one of them be wearing the same uniform I wear some day?  Or will one of them cure cancer?  There are so many more options than if they had stayed in their own country.” 

148th Aerospace Propulsion Engineer, Staff Sgt. Sam Meaux is performing duties as supply line sergeant while deployed.  In addition to performing tasks outside of his military role as an Aerospace Propulsion Engineer, also known as a jet engine mechanic, Meaux has been learning to speak multiple foreign languages to include Dari, Farsi, Pashto and Urdu to help him better communicate as he and his team provide Afghan residents clothing, hygiene products and supplies.  “My favorite aspect of this mission is the people and how you can change their day around from bad to better and even great,” said Meaux. 

The 148th Fighter Wing provides mission-ready Airmen to support global operations, safeguard the homeland and serve our communities.  The 148th currently has five-dozen deployed across the United States and overseas in support of federal missions.