SNCO supports humanitarian mission far from home
By Master Sgt. Kelly Ogden, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern)
/ Published June 25, 2014
BELIZE CITY, Belize -- He had the grades to go to college but he couldn't afford the tuition ... so he joined the Air Force.
"I knew the military could provide an opportunity for me to get an education as well as to travel," said Master Sgt. George Wolf, who is currently deployed in support of the U.S. Southern Command sponsored New Horizons exercise.
Twenty-one years later, he's earned his Masters of Business Administration.
"If someone affords me the opportunity to better myself, I'm going to take it."
However, with opportunity comes sacrifice.
Wolf, who is deployed from the 21st Space Wing, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, is on his fifth deployment away from his wife of over a decade, Deborah, and his three daughters, Alexandria, Hailey and Tia.
He says that his family survives because of his wife's strength and support for their family and his military career.
"The most difficult part of being military is ensuring that your family comes first while trying to balance mission priority and taking care of his Airmen," he said.
The master sergeant, who has been in for 21 years, is in Belize City, Belize, operating as the Tactical Operations Center/Personnel Support for Contingency Operations superintendent.
His job entails tracking 560 personnel, providing 100 percent of accountability of in and out-bound personnel, coordinating emergency actions, casualty reporting, and preparing daily situational reports for higher headquarters.
"This has been my best deployment because of its humanitarian nature," he said. "I'm actually able to be a part of the start and completion of a mission and see the positive effect it has had on the local Belizean population."
The mission that he supports (New Horizons) directly aids U.S. military training and readiness by giving military civil engineers and medical professionals an opportunity to hone their craft and train for humanitarian assistance or disaster relief situations. The challenges of deploying personnel and equipment to a foreign country, assisting patients, and building structures in unique environments are very important to these units.
"Everyone has been really friendly," Wolf said. "I really felt that the local population was happy that we were here and respected us for the mission that we are doing here."