Dover Airman to join Thunderbirds

Dover Airman to join Thunderbirds

Senior Airman Samantha Kreiner, 436th Logistics Readiness Squadron material management specialist, poses in front of Thunderbird 8 Aug. 24, 2017, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Kreiner has been selected to join the Thunderbird team at Nellis AFB, Nev. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Zachary Cacicia)

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. – The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are just days away from screaming through the skies above Dover AFB during the Thunder Over Dover Open House on Aug. 26 and 27.

Known for their red, white and blue F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets, their mind-blowing aerobatics and their rock star-like pilots, the Thunderbirds have performed all around the globe.

But none of this is possible without the support of more than 120 enlisted Airmen working various jobs who keep those jets flying all around the world. One lucky supply troop Airman from the 436th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Senior Airman Samantha Kreiner, is about to join that team.

“I’m stoked,” Kreiner said with a huge smile stretching from ear to ear.

Kreiner has been stationed at Dover AFB the entire four years of her Air Force career, arriving here in April 2013. She is also somewhat of a local girl, growing up just a short 90 minute drive away in Edgewood, Maryland.

She applied for the position with the team earlier this year when she sent in a formal application package. She never thought that she would actually get the job.

“So I sent it up and crossed my fingers,” she said. “I thought that there was no way I would get it; I thought I had no chance. I believed that there are so many other people who have more experience that would beat me.”

Three weeks went by without any news. But then, she received an email.

“I got the notification and I was like ‘no freaking way,’” she said. “I was about to cry.”

She got the job.

One of her mentors, Tech. Sgt. Brian Black, 436th LRS aircraft parts store noncommissioned officer in charge, was in the room when she found out.

“She was shocked,” Black said. “I’m so happy for her. I can’t be anything but happy for her.”

Black was instrumental in helping Kreiner apply for the job.

“I asked Sgt. Black for help,” she said. “He’s been with me from the beginning and is someone that I can always go to. He helped me write my biography and he helped me write the letter of recommendation to send up to the commander. He basically put everything in the correct format and helped me do everything.”
Black had nothing but praise for Kreiner.

“She is one of the best supply troops that I’ve seen around here,” he said. “She’s one of the ones that you don’t have to tell her what to do, she comes in in the morning and knows exactly what to do and she’s on it. Honestly, like I’ve said, with all the people we’ve got here in the squadron, she’s one of the best that I’ve seen.”

The main reason why she applied for the job was for an opportunity to travel.

“She had been here a few years,” said Black. “She joined the Air Force to travel. She’s from across the bay in Maryland, but when she joined, they sent her all the way to Delaware. It’s nice being close to family, but she wanted to travel. The Thunderbirds travel all over the country and the world, giving her that chance.”

She is itching to go.

“I’m so excited to travel,” she said. “This will definitely be a good change of pace for me.”

But her time at Dover has been fruitful.

“I learned a lot while I’ve been here at Dover,” she said. “It has really prepared me for the job I’m about to go to.”

Kreiner will head off to Nellis AFB, Nevada, later this year in November to join the Thunderbirds.

“I’ll be doing basically what I’ve been doing here,” she said. “We order parts for maintenance for whatever they need them for when they are on the road.”

Her current squadron, however, will miss her.

“The squadron is a little upset to be losing her,” said Black. “We are all excited for her. I know she’s going to kick butt at her new job.”