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More than a maintainer

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Zachary Wright
  • 5th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Tactical Response Force: the words themselves bring forth images of Security Forces Defenders clad in tactical gear, rushing to a missile alert facility in a UH-1N “Huey”, prepared to do whatever it takes to defend the 91st Missile Wing’s Airmen and assets. For Senior Airman Kody Uden, a missile and space facilities maintainer for the 91st Missile Wing, becoming a TRF assaulter was something he always wanted to do.

“I’ve always been interested in the tactical aspect of the military,” said Uden. “TRF gives me an opportunity to try it out in case I didn’t like it, but I thoroughly enjoy it.”

Uden decided to undertake the difficult process of becoming a member of TRF and was presented with unique challenges. Most TRF candidates are former Security Forces Airmen who are more familiar with TRF’s training requirements.

“Out-processing and in-processing to a new unit with a different culture was a shock, they just do things differently,” said Uden. “You have to learn fast because all of the Security Forces guys have that base level through tech school, so I really had to pick up the pace.” 

Although he did not have prior training with Security Forces, Uden possessed a unique perspective that only a prior maintainer could provide to TRF. 

“I give them an insight on how launch facilities and missile alert facilities work, so I can adjust their tactics based on what I know of the functions of the facilities,” said Uden. 

During his time with the team, Uden found that his transition to TRF improved his performance as a leader and Airman.

“TRF has benefitted my career by giving me a lot of leadership opportunities and capabilities,” said Uden. “Being put in situations where you have to lead a team in high-stress scenarios, I found that invaluable for me personally because I’ve never been in situations like that.”

Uden admitted the path he took to TRF wasn’t easy or fast, but persistence was the key for him to ultimately achieve his goal. 

“Some advice I would give to prospective TRF candidates would be just keep trying,” said Uden. “It took me a while to join because of admin issues, but never give up. Just keep pushin’.”