Behind The Scenes Of The "Flying Jennies" - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/22/05

Behind The Scenes Of The "Flying Jennies"

"It's not an easy job. That's why men and women in the Air Force train hard.It's not for the pay. It's not for the benefits. It's primarily because they feel good about belonging to this culture that we call the Air Force," said Lt. Colonel Mike Odom.

If there is something going on anywhere in the world, you can count on this unit to be a part of it.

The flying jennies is an Air Force command reserve unit, and its members have flown in every major war since World War Two, entering into combat zones and delivering the necessary items.

But even though they are a unit under the 403rd wing, they do not want to be confused, as they usually are, with the Hurricane Hunters.

"The 53rd gets a lot of glory and a lot of press, but these men and women are the ones that are flying into the combat zone. T hese are the ones that go to war. The ones that typically get shot at," said Odom.

Lt. Colonel Odom, along with other unit members, just recently returned from Iraq.

He says he saw the possibility of a better country.

"I had the opportunity as a media trainer to interview and speak to behind closed doors, a lot of the Iraqi people who are both being put in senior leadership positions, as well as just common folk out there. And they are extremely grateful. They were happy that we were there. They were excited about democracy," said Odom.

And if democracy ever comes, the "flying jennies" as always will be there to help maintain it.

"They are out there bringing humanitarian goods around the world. They really are heroes," said Odom.

In December of last year, the Flying Jennies deployed a crew along with the new C-130J to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

By Karla Redditte

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