Viking spouses spend a day in their husbands' shoes

Five spouses from the 960th Airborne Air Control Squadron had the opportunity to fly on an E-3 and get an intimate look at what their husbands do every day. Photo courtesy of 1st Lt. Kinder Blacke.

Five spouses from the 960th Airborne Air Control Squadron had the opportunity to fly on an E-3 and get an intimate look at what their husbands do every day. Photo courtesy of 1st Lt. Kinder Blacke.

Ms. Misty Huch prepares to take a tour of the lower lobe of the aircraft during pre-flight preparations. All of the spouses were eager to see and learn as much as possible during the experience. Photo courtesy of 1st Lt. Kinder Blacke.

Ms. Misty Huch prepares to take a tour of the lower lobe of the aircraft during pre-flight preparations. All of the spouses were eager to see and learn as much as possible during the experience. Photo courtesy of 1st Lt. Kinder Blacke.

Five spouses from the 960th Airborne Air Control Squadron had the opportunity to fly on an E-3 and get an intimate look at what their husbands do every day. Photo courtesy of 1st Lt. Kinder Blacke.

Five spouses from the 960th Airborne Air Control Squadron had the opportunity to fly on an E-3 and get an intimate look at what their husbands do every day. Photo courtesy of 1st Lt. Kinder Blacke.

TINKER AFB, Okla. -- Very few people ever get the chance to fly on the E-3 Sentry AWACS, but on June 18, several spouses from the 960th Airborne Air Control Squadron enjoyed the privilege.

Five women flew along with the crew on a standard training sortie and got an inside-look at what their husbands do every day. "It was fantastic," said Ms. Suzanne Wardell, wife of Lt. Col. Jeffrey Wardell, director of operations, 960 AACS.

Ms. Wardell decided to go on the flight to see what her husband does while he is at work; not only did she see that, she also learned about all of the different crew positions on the jet. "All of the crew did a great job of explaining what it was they do," she said.

"I didn't know much about the mission until I saw one firsthand," said Ms. Wardell, "and it was really exciting!"

The crew made every effort to include the spouses in the mission and teach them as much as possible during the flight. Ms. Wardell said the best part was "getting to sit at the scope and see a mission, while hearing everyone talk on the radio."

The best part for Ms. Misty Huch, wife of Staff Sgt. Matthew Huch, communications systems operator, 960 AACS, was getting to meet the people her husband works with.

"It was amazing to see how perfectly synchronized everyone works," Ms. Huch said. "The over-all job of the flight went smoothly because everyone knew their particular role and performed it on cue," she added.

Ms. Huch was also surprised by how tired she was by the end of the day. "I was just sitting and watching other people work and I came home exhausted," she said. "I will definitely have more sympathy for my husband when he comes home after a long day in the air (especially if he has to sit on the tarmac in the middle of summer)!"

Both women agreed that, if presented the opportunity, all spouses should go on a spouse flight at least once. Ms. Huch summed it up saying, "You will understand what your husband (or wife) does in more detail, you will get to meet the people your husband (or wife) works with, and you will come to better appreciate what he (she) does for his (her) country and his (her) family."