BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – The 455th Air Expeditionary Wing finance management office not only provides financial customer service, it also plays an important role in the accomplishment of the 455 AEW mission by executing the wing budget to fund all mission requirements.
It’s also the setting for a unique re-deployment transition where a newly-wed couple fills in as their own replacements in the area of operation.
Rather than having a reunion at their home station at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., the two will meet temporarily overseas as they conduct a short change over for their mission before separating again.
Staff Sgt. Ariel Hunsuckle is replacing his wife, Staff Sgt. Margaret Prokop, as the 455 AEW financial management budget technician. The two acknowledged nobody wants to be away from their spouse for one year, but they said it comes with being in the military and they’re making the best of it.
“It’s an incredible experience to be able to see my wife after the long months she’s been here, and I feel I am lucky enough to be with her as others aren’t as fortunate,” said Hunsuckle, an eight year Air Force veteran who hails from Yigo, Guam.
[L-R: Staff Sgt. Margaret Prokop and her husband Staff Sgt. Ariel Hunsuckle]
Although they work in the same unit at home station, they have different offices and their jobs are quite different.
“Professionally, it’s great to be able to train Ariel on the things I’ve been doing for the last several months,” said Margaret Prokop, a five year Air Force veteran from Bolton, Conn. “He’s already made improvements to the program and all I can say is, ‘Wow! Why didn’t I think of that?’ Even though the allotted turnover for the position was only a few days, we’re lucky with how everything worked out, especially since our flights aligned to give us a few extra days together,” she said.
Hunsuckle said he had some great boots to fill but he didn’t expect anything less.
“The turn-over was definitely a learning experience, and working with her professionally was easier than I imagined,” he said. “And the best thing about our working relationship is I can literally call home for help.”
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