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Reservist expedites upgrade training working alongside active duty

  • Published
  • By Jeremy Larlee
  • 512th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

A 512th Civil Engineer Squadron reservist is assisting his active-duty counterparts here and gaining some experience in the process.

Airman 1st Class Prince Acquaye, a 512th CES water and fuels maintenance apprentice, is new to the Air Force Reserve and is working towards becoming a specialist in his career field. He’s slated to continue serving in an active training status for about a month.

Acquaye said he is enjoying the experience working with the 436th Civil Engineer Squadron.

“The whole aim here is to get some training in,” he said. “It’s challenging but also very rewarding when I get the job done, and I can feel my capabilities expand.”

Water and fuel systems maintenance specialists manage the plumbing, wastewater collection systems, liquid fuel storage and natural gas distribution systems on base. The job requires an understanding of the systems as well as the ability to troubleshoot and fix the systems when they are not working correctly.

Acquaye said a big step for him was installing a toilet by himself. He said it felt good to be able to successfully employ his new skillset. In his civilian career, he works as a caretaker for people with disabilities. He said that job requires more mental than physical labor, so learning his trade in the Reserve has been a unique challenge.

But, he added the active-duty shop has been very welcoming and has taught him a lot during his time with them.

Staff Sgt. Shane Kern, 436th CES water and fuel systems maintenance craftsman, said Acquaye has been a valuable addition to his unit.

“Between deployments and low manning, getting a body helps out our shop immensely,” said Kern. “So far, he’s done everything we’ve asked him, and he is doing a great job.”

The busy workload has provided a good environment for Acquaye to learn multiple aspects of his career field, added Kern.

“He’s had the opportunity to gain experience working with multiple different pieces of equipment that are vital to doing his job,” said Kern. “I’ve shown him some tricks and tips, and he’s been a quick learner.”

Acquaye said he can’t wait to get back to work with his reserve counterparts and show how much his skills have grown.

“Going back, I will have a lot more experience,” he said. “I’ll be more confident and ready to get the mission done.”