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    From Barbados to Bagram, beyond

    Weather vital for mission success

    Photo By Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Snyder | U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Omar Nurse, battlefield weather forecaster, 19th...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Eric Burks 

    U.S. Air Forces Central Command Public Affairs     

    FORWARD OPERATING BASE SHANK, Afghanistan - It's a long way from the tropical shores of Barbados to the rugged terrain of Afghanistan - the latest deployment in the career of one Air Force battlefield weather forecaster.

    Tech. Sgt. Omar Nurse, born on the island nation just 60 miles east of the Caribbean Sea, is assigned to the 19th Expeditionary Weather Squadron, headquartered at Bagram Airfield. But Nurse lives and works far from Bagram, embedded with U.S. Army soldiers at the Tactical Operations Center of Forward Operating Base Shank.

    As a staff weather officer, Nurse is responsible for reporting weather conditions to aviation units at the base.

    "We are very, very integrated with our Army brethren," he said. "We provide them with a capability that they really can't provide for themselves."

    Whether assessing current conditions or providing a future forecast, timely and accurate weather reports are key to mission success, he said. Conditions affect not only air operations themselves, but can impact assets available to support ground operations. Accurate weather forecasts provide the ability to exploit the weather to coalition forces' advantage.

    Working with the Army is nothing new to Nurse. After his first duty station - Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho - the sergeant has been stationed with Army units ever since.

    Nurse's pathway to service began while he was still in Barbados, and one of his cousins enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He suggested Nurse join as well, primarily for the educational benefits.

    Nurse arrived in the U.S. on April 16, 1996, and went to an Air Force recruiting office two days later. He came in "open general" and was offered a plethora of jobs after testing well on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.

    He selected the weather career field, and after technical school, was assigned as a weather observer at Mountain Home - the same duty station as his cousin, who had recommended enlisting.

    There, Nurse would also meet his future wife, Teresa. They have now been married 14 years and have three children - a son and two daughters.

    While Nurse has spent more than two-and-a-half years away from his family due to deployments, not including many shorter temporary duty assignments for training, they have been supportive throughout his career.

    "I have a really great family," he said, "and an awesome wife who is very understanding."

    And working closely with the Army, both at home station and deployed, has given him an even bigger "extended family."

    "It's a pretty unique experience," Nurse said. "There's a lot of hard work and training, but the Army is very big on camaraderie."

    "I have a lot of inter-service brothers-in-arms," he smiled.

    The best part of his job, Nurse said, is that close integration with his Army brethren.

    "Working hand in hand with them, knowing that they depend on me for every mission that they do," he said, "it's a great feeling."



    Date Taken: 11.04.2012
    Date Posted: 11.04.2012 01:41
    Story ID: 97247

    Web Views: 235
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