Navarre group visits Duke Field, learns more on unit’s dynamic mission

  • Published
  • By Michelle Gigante
  • 919th Special Operations Wing

When it comes to bringing people together, free food typically makes everyone happy, and the aircraft maintainers at Duke Field couldn’t agree more.

The Greater Navarre Military Affairs Council recently treated the Airmen to a free catered lunch during their visit to Duke Field to learn more about the units’ missions and discuss opportunities for support within the local community.

“We want to see if there are things we can do in the community to make their lives better,” said Tracy Bragg, Greater Navarre Area Chamber of Commerce CEO and president. “They live in the community we do, and we want to make sure we give back to them for what they do for us.”

The Greater Navarre MAC is a nonprofit organization focused on spreading awareness and advocating for the local community. There are 11 total military affairs councils in the local area and the Greater Navarre group was the first to kick-off this resiliency initiative to visit Airmen throughout the Emerald Coast.

The Airmen received a free lunch as part of the community outreach engagement with the Greater Navarre group who received donations from businesses in the area and fed close to 100 of the 919th SOAMXS aircraft maintainers and their Active Duty counterparts.

“The Airmen were very excited,” said Lt. Col. Kimberly Stevens, 919th SOAMXS commander. “They always enjoy the camaraderie and the free food was an added benefit.”

Stevens added, “Getting to see our Navarre residents and hearing how they can be more involved in helping better integrate us into the community is a really good thing.”

Some topics discussed during the meeting revolved around improving local childcare, providing more entertainment opportunities for families, and growing good leadership in the local community.

“It is nice to see business leaders from Navarre come this far out to Duke Field area,” said Staff Sgt. Jennifer Whittington, 919th Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief. “It was nice to see they care.”

At the conclusion of the visit, Greater Navarre group toured a C-146A Wolfhound for a brief overview of the aircraft and received additional information of the SOAMXS mission.

“I am really excited they were able to come out and show the Airmen they have community support,” said Stevens.

Airmen interested in becoming more involved in the community may reach out to the Greater Navarre Area Chamber of Commerce group, the Navarre American Legion Post 382 and organizations such as the Emerald Coast Wounded Warrior or Healing Paws for Warriors.