News Search


Nomads: Face to Face Petty Officer 2nd Class Kyle Colley

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Peter Thompson
  • 33rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

“I blend right in. Obviously, I’m wearing a different uniform but at the end of the day, we all have the same goals.”

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Kyle Colley, 33rd Maintenance Squadron aviation structural mechanic, had little interaction with the Air Force before he found himself stationed at Eglin Air Force Base with the Nomads.

“I found out I was going to Florida while I was working on P-3 (Orions) at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash,” Colley said. “I didn’t realize I would be with an AF unit until the day I checked in.”

It was a shock to the system at first. Colley, like many, didn’t realize Sailors were attached to the Air Force unit he was becoming a part of.

“It was an interesting first day,” he continued with a slight chuckle. “I walked into a room of Air Force folks and thought ‘this should be fun.’”

Colley acknowledged stark differences between the two branches on a superficial level but as he began integrating more and more, it became easier to find similarities.

“Eventually, I adjusted by learning the Air Force’s language: by understanding and comparing how the two branches do things which is very similar when you break it all down,” he said reflecting.

Colley said his favorite memory with the 33rd Fighter Wing was deploying to Red Flag at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., in 2017. He enjoyed watching the massive movement of aircraft across the runway, which he said is very different from the confined space of a carrier flight deck.

He encourages other Sailors who are fortunate enough to be a part of an Air Force unit to take advantage of the opportunity, but prepare early to make the transition smooth.

“Take the time to learn about the difference in rank and culture before you get to your new command,” Colley said. “It’s a fun place to be. I’ve really enjoyed my experience working with the Air Force.”