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    USAF chaplain team supports TAAC-Air, provides for diverse religious needs

    USAF chaplain team supports TAAC-Air, provides for diverse religious needs

    Photo By Maj. Edith Sakura | Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Bryan Hochhalter and Tech. Sgt. Sandra Alvor-Thrash talk to Train,...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Edith Sakura 

    438th Air Expeditionary Wing

    KABUL, Afghanistan – “I love being a chaplain. I find great fulfillment in helping people.”

    That’s what Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Bryan Hochhalter, deployed here from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said about his job at the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing / Train, Advise, Assist Command-Air (TAAC-Air).

    Several months ago 438th AEW leadership requested a chaplain team to support the personnel assigned to TAAC-Air at Hamid Karzai International Airport and Forward Operating Base Oqab.

    “We are here to provide for the spiritual needs of the community and ensure opportunities to exercise the constitutional right to the free exercise of religion,” Hochhalter said. “As members of the U.S. Air Force Chaplain Corps, we focus upon two main goals: one — advise and inform Air Force leaders on matters related to religious, spiritual, ethical, moral, and morale concerns, and advocate for religious and spiritual needs, and two — provide spiritual care.”

    He said the biggest challenge is meeting the diverse religious needs of the HKIA community. As the wing chaplain one of his main goals is to accurately assess the religious needs of the community and to ensure the required religious and worship services, programs and spiritual counseling are provided.

    “We plan to visit as many people as we can to get to know them and their contributions to the mission, advise leadership of issues affecting the unit, such as spiritual, moral or morale concerns, and provide spiritual care to our warriors,” said Tech. Sgt. Sandra Alvor-Thrash, non-commissioned officer for chapel operations.

    Alvor-Thrash, deployed here from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and a Dallas, Texas-native, said being able to provide 100 percent confidentiality is her favorite part of her job.

    “No one else in the [Department of Defense] has it,” she said. “The chaplain corps is the only one to offer this and I am a big advocate for it. Who better to share your struggles with, whether spiritual, moral or just daily work stressors, than with someone who wants to listen and provide comfort and care - without your chain of command or work center ever knowing [about it]. It’s a safe place, we don’t report anything you say to us.”

    A list of worship services, times and locations are available with TAAC-Air supervisors and on the internal SharePoint site.


    Date Taken: 08.22.2015
    Date Posted: 08.22.2015 01:52
    Story ID: 173958
    Location: KABUL, AF
    Hometown: DALLAS, TEXAS, US

    Web Views: 230
    Downloads: 1