OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. - Two Airmen from the 102nd Air Operations Group were recently selected to participate in a unique internship at the Pentagon.
The one-year program with the Air Force Intelligence Analysis Agency is only open to Air National Guard members and consists of only two slots, both of which were filled by Otis ANG Base.
“This is a much better opportunity than I thought would be afforded to me so short into my career,” said Senior Airman David Westerlind. “I was interested in attending some follow-on schooling, but I never imagined I would be accepted for an internship at the Pentagon working for the AFIAA.”
Senior Airman Olivier Edouard, who was a combat medic while in the Army National Guard, has always wanted to be in the intelligence field.
“This is a very exciting time for me and my family,” said Edouard. “It was exciting when we found out that we were the two selected from the entire Air National Guard to participate in this internship. This is a dream come true because it’s an opportunity you get once in a lifetime.”
During their internship, Westerlind and Edouard will be interacting with an array of military and government intelligence agencies while becoming better trained on the procedures of analysis, creation and staging of intelligence presentations. They will also have the opportunity to immerse themselves in various aspects of intelligence research and education.
“The whole idea behind this internship is to work in a joint force, active duty environment where we can further develop our skills and capabilities,” said Westerlind. “Given the increasing role the Air National Guard is playing in the intelligence community, especially with the global war on terror, it makes sense to expose Guardsmen in our career field to the global vision of what’s happening at the top levels in the intelligence community,” added Edouard.
As the 102nd AOG continues to augment the 608th Air Operations Center at Barksdale AFB, La., and other Guard units do the same for their active duty associate, the Air National Guard Bureau recognized the need to create this internship to help Guardsmen in the intelligence field to have a better idea of what’s happening at a higher level.
The Airmen credit their supervisors for their responding quickly to the opportunity’s short suspense.
“One of the reasons we were able to succeed in the application process was due to the support and efficiency of our chain of command,” said Westerlind. “They made sure the paperwork got submitted on time and everything went smoothly.”