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Airman follows in family footsteps

Airman 1st Class Joshua Williams performs a service inspection on aircraft generation equipment, Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H., September 12 2013.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Curtis J. Lenz)

PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. -- Airman 1st Class Joshua Williams performs a service inspection on aircraft generation equipment, Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H., September 12 2013. Williams is the most junior member of the 157th Maintenance Squadron's AGE shop. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Curtis J. Lenz)

PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. -- Airman 1st Class Joshua R. Williams is the most junior member of the 157th Maintenance Squadron's Aerospace Ground Equipment shop, or AGE. He enlisted in the New Hampshire Air National Guard in June 2012 and trained in student flight for six months before attending basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

"I joined to better help the community and serve my country and make a difference," said Williams. "I feel like I took the next step by enlisting. Most people my age are either scared to or just don't consider it as an option."

Williams is 21 years old and resides in nearby Rochester, N.H. His brother, Ronald Williams, Jr., is also a crew chief in the organization. His father, Ronald Williams, Sr. retired as a staff sergeant from the U.S. Air Force in the early 1990s after 21 years of service. The elder Williams ended his career in the AGE shop.

The youngest Williams chose AGE because he wanted to better understand what his father did while in the Air Force as well as learn skills that would transfer to a civilian occupation.

The AGE shop consists of 15 diverse statused personnel: eight full time members -- five of which are technicians, one active-guard-reserve, and two active-duty Airmen from the 64th Air Refueling Squadron. The remaining seven members are traditional members of the wing, including Williams.

The mission of the AGE shop is to repair aircraft support equipment which includes, but not limited to power carts, stands, hydraulic mules, heaters, air conditioners, generators, jacks and compressors.

"AGE is a good environment to work in. Everyone in the shop is very nice and easy going. If you have a question, they'll answer it. They want each and every one of us to succeed. It's more like a family here," said Williams.

When asked if he makes a difference, Williams reply was clear; "If we can't repair the ground equipment, then they can't work on the planes. So we're specifically needed for the mission for the planes to be ready to go. The mission would fail if we didn't do our jobs."

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