445th AW D&TF prepares future Airmen for service

  • Published
  • By Capt. Wilson Wise
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Have you ever wondered what happens to Airmen after being recruited and before they enter basic military training? New incoming Airmen to the 445th Airlift Wing have the opportunity to develop their skills in the Development and Training Flight (D&TF).

The mission of the D&TF is to mentally and physically prepare Air Force Reserve trainees for the transition from civilian to military life. The flight provides structured academic and physical training programs during the period of time from enlistment through departure to formal training schools for non-prior service members. It is similar to a delayed entry program for active-duty personnel.

The program falls under the purview of the 445th AW command chief, Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Williams, and is run by Staff Sgt. Paula Newman, 445th Security Forces Squadron.

“We have found that our trainees are better prepared for basic training after going through the program. We’ve had several distinguished graduates at BMT from the 445th,” Newman said.

Newman relies on others in the wing to lend a hand in the training process. Master Sgt. Shawn McKellop, inspections coordinator with the Inspector General’s office, is a former military training instructor and honor guard leader and works with the flight on marching maneuvers.

“When I returned to the 445th in 2014, there was an opportunity to assist with the development flight. I have enjoyed working with them over the last seven plus years and will continue to do so as long as they will have me,” McKellop said.

Newman lauds her colleague. “Sergeant McKellop’s assistance with the trainees is top-notch. You can see the level of respect our trainees have for his leadership and we are fortunate to have his help in the program,” she said.

The current flight is unique in that there are two sets of siblings in the program. Twin brothers Kehinde and Taiwo Olaware moved to America from Nigeria in 2018 and are both college students at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis. They will be the first in their family to serve in the military. Kehinde will serve in the force support squadron and Taiwo in the civil engineer squadron.

Sisters Olivia and Katherine Pietras are originally from Wheaton, Illinois. Their father was in the Army and encouraged them to consider military service. Both sisters will serve in the aeromedical staging squadron. “We are excited about our chance to serve here in the future,” the sisters said.

The program demonstrates the flexibility of the 445th and its people to carry on the mission of adding excellent