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Black Knights host Spouses’ Day

A person looks out the window of a C-130J

A 19th Airlift Wing spouse looks out the window on the flight deck of a C-130J Super Hercules during a flight over Central Arkansas, Oct. 2, 2021. The flight was part of Spouses’ Day, which aimed to educate family members on the overall wing mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kalee Sexton)

A person looks out the window of a C-130J

A 19th Airlift Wing spouse looks out the window of a C-130J Super Hercules during a flight over Central Arkansas, Oct. 2, 2021. The flight was part of Spouses’ Day, which aimed to educate family members on the overall wing mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kalee Sexton)

A person looks out the window of a C-130J

Stephanie Vullmahn, whose husband works in the 19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, looks out the window of a C-130J Super Hercules during a flight over Central Arkansas, Oct. 2, 2021. The flight was part of Spouses’ Day, which aimed to educate family members on the overall wing mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kalee Sexton)

A group of people take photos out of a C-130J

A group of 19th Airlift Wing spouses take photos during a C-130J Super Hercules over Central Arkansas, Oct. 2, 2021. The flight was part of Spouses’ Day, which aimed to educate family members on the overall wing mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kalee Sexton)

A group of people board a C-130J

A group of 19th Airlift Wing spouses board a C-130J Super Hercules at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 2, 2021. The flight was part of Spouses’ Day, which aimed to educate family members on the overall wing mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kalee Sexton)

A group of people pose for a photo

A group of 19th Airlift Wing spouses pose for a photo behind a C-130J Super Hercules at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 2, 2021. The spouses took part in a C-130J flight that was part of Spouses’ Day, which aimed to educate family members on the overall wing mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kalee Sexton)

A group of people pose for a photo

A group of 19th Airlift Wing spouses pose for a photo behind a C-130J Super Hercules at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 2, 2021. The spouses took part in a C-130J flight that was part of Spouses’ Day, which aimed to educate family members on the overall wing mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kalee Sexton)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- The 19th Airlift Wing hosted a Spouses’ Day event Oct. 2, providing military spouses an opportunity to learn more about the mission of the installation and fly aboard a C-130J Super Hercules.

The day started with family members arriving at Walters Community Center, where they learned more about resources available on base, such as the Airman and Family Readiness Center. Afterwards, they went to a presentation that outlined what the 19th AW does and its role in supplying humanitarian airlift relief to victims of disasters and airdropping supplies and troops into hostile areas.

It was a chance for spouses to better understand what their significant others do and how their work directly impacts the tactical airlift mission.

Col. Angela Ochoa, 19th AW commander, spoke during the presentation, emphasizing the importance of having a strong, connected community. She encouraged family members to try to make connections during the day, saying that families need to be able to rely on each other, especially during deployments.

After a pre-flight safety briefing, the spouses were transported to the flight line. Flights were broken up into eight chalks, each consisting of nearly 20 spouses.

During the flight, passengers had an opportunity to spend some time on the flight deck watching the Arkansas countryside pass by below them. Others walked around the cargo compartment, peered out the windows and asked questions of the crew.

For many spouses, this was their first opportunity to fly in a C-130J. They had to find their “air legs” once the plane was airborne, but quickly caught their bearings after they got used to the aircraft’s movements. Each flight lasted about 45 minutes, with views of Pinnacle Mountain, Petit Jean State Park, Heber Springs and Cabot. 

Ana Geib, whose husband works in the 19th Maintenance Squadron, said she had a blast.

“My favorite part was being able to be on the flight deck while we landed,” she said. “It was a very unique experience.”

Kassandra Hammock, whose husband works in the 19th Security Forces Squadron, said the flight allowed her to understand more about what Airmen do on the base and how the C-130J works.

“I loved being able to see how the aircrew operates during a flight,” she said.

Ultimately, the Spouses’ Day event provided family members with a small glimpse into the role their Airmen play in supporting the largest C-130 fleet in the world.

“Hosting an event like Spouses’ Day was absolutely important for our organization,” said Maj. Sydney Freeman, 19th AW chief of standardization and evaluation and project officer for the event.  “As military members, we can be called upon to deploy at a moment’s notice. And this event was an opportunity to give back and recognize all the support and commitment that is provided to us by our spouses and families.”

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