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41st ECS spouses recognized for contribution to squadron mission

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. -- More than 60 spouses of servicemembers from the component squadrons of the 55th Electronic Combat Group joined together at the workplace of their counterparts to see first-hand the daily undertakings of their loved ones. 

The spouses were divided into four groups that participated in safety and medical briefings before a 30-minute plane ride over Tucson and Mt. Lemmon in a EC-130 at different times throughout the day. 

"It means something to these family members to know that the military is a full effort - it's not just the military member, but the whole family. It's the whole family we're committed to," said Col. Donald Bacon, 55th ECG commander. 

To show their heartfelt gratitude, the pilots and crew members made the flight an especially enjoyable experience for the spouses. 

"It was amazing," said Andrea Scott, wife of Capt. Brian Scott, a 755th Operations Support Squadron navigator. 

"It gave me a different impression of what they do," said Julie Jewett, wife of Staff Sgt. Nicholas Jewett, 43rd Electronic Combat Squadron life support NCO-in-charge. 

The spouses were treated to refreshments, static displays of the life support equipment and a slide show of the squadron's deployed Airmen downrange. One reason for the immersion was organized to express gratitude to the families of one of the most deployed squadrons in the Air Force. 

"They are such an important part for us to be deployed for 36 months in both Iraq and Afghanistan," said Lt. Col. Richard Fojtik, acting commander for the 41st ECS. "With 30 to 40 percent of our Airmen gone 365 days a year, there's a lot of strain on these families, so we wanted to say thanks to them." 

Saturday's events drew to a close as each spouse received certificate of appreciation for their supporting role in the successful completion of the Air Force mission. 

"Our goal is to let them know we appreciate them and value them because all of our deployments take the whole family to make that happen - a commitment from both," said Colonel Donald Bacon.