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33rd FW hosts spouse immersion

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Leandra Garcia
  • 33rd Fighter Wing

Military spouses hold a unique role in upholding our nation's strength.  

Regardless of their status as a military member or civilian, military spouses are the heart of thousands of support systems across the Air Force.  

The 33rd Fighter Wing hosted 16 spouses for an immersion Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, to integrate them with the Nomad mission and enable them to educate other spouses on what they learned.  

“As the daughter of a crew chief I never really knew what my dad did,” said Kristene Skalicky, the 33rd Fighter Wing commander’s spouse, “This tour and the ones we will host in the future is to make sure that is not the case for our Nomad families.” 

The tour was offered to spouses wing-wide to familiarize them with the 33rd FW mission and the leadership behind it. Spouses learned about everything from the wing’s inception and history to how Nomads have evolved to forge future combat airpower today.  

“I didn’t know how broad of a term ‘maintenance’ was until today,” said Heike Noonkester, 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron spouse. “I got to see different shops and aspects that I had no idea existed.” Noonkester has been married to a crew chief for almost 20 years. “I connected with really great people who I otherwise wouldn’t have met or would’ve been hesitant to meet because of the stigma between enlisted and officers, this tour really broke that barrier for me.” 

In addition to learning about the mission, spouses were able to network and develop new relationships with other military family members. Giving a comprehensive view of the wing and the F-35A Lightning II, the tour provided insight into their partner's daily life and significance in their role within the U.S. Air Force, while equipping military spouses with the knowledge to support their loves ones.

“Military spouses provide so much support to our members it cannot be overstated,” said Skalicky. “We all take off the uniform one day. When that day comes, the military won’t be there anymore, but your spouse will be. So a huge thank you to all the military spouses for serving alongside our Airmen and to everyone who had the chance to attend the tour.”