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Eight enlist at one time into Alaska Air Guard

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Joshua Ellis, a new enlistee for the Alaska Air National Guard, signs his enlistment paperwork June 19, 2012. Ellis is scheduled to train as a C-130 navigator for the 144 Airlift Squadron. In 2011, Ellis received a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Technology from the University of Alaska Anchorage and is a pilot for Era Aviation Alaska. He is from Eagle River and a 2004 Chugiak High School graduate. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shannon Oleson)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Joshua Ellis, a new enlistee for the Alaska Air National Guard, signs his enlistment paperwork June 19, 2012. Ellis is scheduled to train as a C-130 navigator for the 144 Airlift Squadron. In 2011, Ellis received a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Technology from the University of Alaska Anchorage and is a pilot for Era Aviation Alaska. He is from Eagle River and a 2004 Chugiak High School graduate. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shannon Oleson)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Robert Wasser, a new enlistee for the Alaska Air National Guard, signs his enlistment paperwork June 19, 2012. Wasser is scheduled to train as an aerospace propulsion specialist for the 176 Maintenance Squadron. He is from Anchorage and is a 2012 Service High School graduate. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shannon Oleson)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Robert Wasser, a new enlistee for the Alaska Air National Guard, signs his enlistment paperwork June 19, 2012. Wasser is scheduled to train as an aerospace propulsion specialist for the 176 Maintenance Squadron. He is from Anchorage and is a 2012 Service High School graduate. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shannon Oleson)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Lane LaForest, a new enlistee for the Alaska Air National Guard, signs his enlistment paperwork June 19, 2012. LaForest is scheduled to train as a C-17 loadmaster for the 249 Airlift Squadron. He is a horse handler for Sindorf Equestrian Center in Palmer. LaForest is from Palmer and completed high school as a home-schooler in 2011. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shannon Oleson)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Lane LaForest, a new enlistee for the Alaska Air National Guard, signs his enlistment paperwork June 19, 2012. LaForest is scheduled to train as a C-17 loadmaster for the 249 Airlift Squadron. He is a horse handler for Sindorf Equestrian Center in Palmer. LaForest is from Palmer and completed high school as a home-schooler in 2011. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shannon Oleson)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Col. Donald S. Wenke, commander of the 176 Wing, swears in eight new enlistees for the Alaska Air National Guard June 19, 2012. Federal law requires everyone who enlists or re-enlists in the armed forces to take the enlistment oath. The oath of enlistment is administered by a commissioned officer to anyone enlisting for a term of service into the military. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shannon Oleson)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Col. Donald S. Wenke, commander of the 176 Wing, swears in eight new enlistees for the Alaska Air National Guard June 19, 2012. Federal law requires everyone who enlists or re-enlists in the armed forces to take the enlistment oath. The oath of enlistment is administered by a commissioned officer to anyone enlisting for a term of service into the military. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shannon Oleson)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Col. Donald S. Wenke, commander of the 176 Wing, shakes hands here June 19 with Rosendo Perez, a new enlistee for the Alaska Air National Guard. Staff Sgt. Perez, a prior active duty Air Force member, will continue his military career as a security forces specialist with the Air National Guard's 168 Security Forces Squadron on Eielson Air Force Base. Perez is a full time student at the University of Alaska Anchorage and is working towards a bachelor's degree in accounting. He is originally from Jerez, Mexico. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shannon Oleson)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Col. Donald S. Wenke, commander of the 176 Wing, shakes hands here June 19 with Rosendo Perez, a new enlistee for the Alaska Air National Guard. Staff Sgt. Perez, a prior active duty Air Force member, will continue his military career as a security forces specialist with the Air National Guard's 168 Security Forces Squadron on Eielson Air Force Base. Perez is a full time student at the University of Alaska Anchorage and is working towards a bachelor's degree in accounting. He is originally from Jerez, Mexico. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shannon Oleson)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Chief Master Sgt. Steven Calvin, the command chief for the 176 Wing, hands Heather Ornquist, a new enlistee for the Alaska Air National Guard, a card here with the Air Force airman's creed June 19, 2012. Ornquist is scheduled to train as an aerospace control and warning systems specialist for the 176 Air Control Squadron. She works as a medical assistant for the Central Matanuska Fire Department. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shannon Oleson)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Chief Master Sgt. Steven Calvin, the command chief for the 176 Wing, hands Heather Ornquist, a new enlistee for the Alaska Air National Guard, a card here with the Air Force airman's creed June 19, 2012. Ornquist is scheduled to train as an aerospace control and warning systems specialist for the 176 Air Control Squadron. She works as a medical assistant for the Central Matanuska Fire Department. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shannon Oleson)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Dominique Gutierrez, a new enlistee for the Alaska Air National Guard, signs his enlistment paperwork June 19, 2012. Gutierrez is scheduled to train as a security forces specialist for the 168 Security Forces Squadron on Eielson Air Force Base. He is from Wasilla and works for Enterprise Rent-a-Car. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shannon Oleson)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Dominique Gutierrez, a new enlistee for the Alaska Air National Guard, signs his enlistment paperwork June 19, 2012. Gutierrez is scheduled to train as a security forces specialist for the 168 Security Forces Squadron on Eielson Air Force Base. He is from Wasilla and works for Enterprise Rent-a-Car. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shannon Oleson)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Brandon Erwin, a new enlistee for the Alaska Air National Guard, signs his enlistment paperwork June 19, 2012. Erwin is scheduled to train as a client systems specialist for the 168 Communications Flight on Eielson Air Force Base. He is a 2012 graduate of the Mat-Su Career & Technical Education High School in Wasilla. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shannon Oleson)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Brandon Erwin, a new enlistee for the Alaska Air National Guard, signs his enlistment paperwork June 19, 2012. Erwin is scheduled to train as a client systems specialist for the 168 Communications Flight on Eielson Air Force Base. He is a 2012 graduate of the Mat-Su Career & Technical Education High School in Wasilla. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shannon Oleson)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -Alan Mulcahy, a new enlistee for the Alaska Air National Guard, signs his enlistment paperwork June 19, 2012. Mulcahy is scheduled to train as an avionics technician for the 176 Maintenance Squadron. He is enrolled in the University of Alaska Anchorage's Air Traffic Controller program and a 2011 graduate of Chugiak High School.  (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shannon Oleson)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -Alan Mulcahy, a new enlistee for the Alaska Air National Guard, signs his enlistment paperwork June 19, 2012. Mulcahy is scheduled to train as an avionics technician for the 176 Maintenance Squadron. He is enrolled in the University of Alaska Anchorage's Air Traffic Controller program and a 2011 graduate of Chugiak High School. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shannon Oleson)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Eight new recruits enlisted en masse into the Alaska Air National Guard in front of the flag pole at the 176 Wing building here June 19.

Col. Donald S. Wenke, commander of the 176 Wing, swore the group in.

"I'm not surprised there are that many people wanting to join such a great organization as the Alaska Air National Guard," Wenke said.

The recruits are scheduled to enter a variety of career paths including cargo plane C-17 load master, navigator, communications, and aerospace control and warning systems specialist. Two enlistees have positions as security forces at the 168th Air Refueling Wing, the Air National Guard unit at Eielson Air Force Base.

Most of the recruits have full-time activities in the local community, such as Heather Ornquist, a medical assistant at the Central Mat-Su Fire Department and Alan Mulcahy, an air-traffic-control student at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Some were looking for their first steps in their career.

One 2012 high school graduate, Robert Wasser, chose an aerospace propulsion position with the 176 Maintenance Squadron.

"Two weeks ago, I was sitting at a desk in high school," Wasser said. "And now I'm here."

Family, friends and air guardsmen gathered around to support the recruits' enlistment. In the crowd were fathers in the air guard, an active duty wife and other supportive spouses, parents and children. Josh Ellis, a pilot in the civilian sector and navigator hopeful, had his father present. Ellis' father, Staff Sgt. Steven Ellis is an air transportation specialist with the 176 Logistics Readiness Squadron.

"I'm proud of him," Sgt. Ellis said. "I'm glad to see that he's doing what he enjoys. You put a lot of effort into your children, and you hope that they're happy."
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