Story by American Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael O’Brien, JFC Naples Public Affairs
CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo - Staff Sgt. David Leroy and Master Sergeant Philip Studler, Air Force Staff Weather Officers (SWO), both with the American Air Force, forecast, observe, and report on weather for Task Force Aviation, which consists of a heavy lift and medevac helicopter unit.
When they first arrived, they forecasted with limited data but now they have deployed new weather sensors to increase their contributions.
“Even though we work long hours nearly every day, we love the work we’re doing here for NATO and Kosovo,” said Studler.”
Studler has served over 20 years as a weather forecaster with United States Air National Guard.
Leroy has deployed to Estonia supporting an F-16 unit and to St. Croix and Puerto Rico supporting Humanitarian relief efforts.
“Deploying the micro weather sensors has been an amazing experience that allowed me to interact with the Italian soldiers at Camp Villaggio,” said Leroy.
“Being the only NATO forecasters in country, we carry the responsibility of forecasting for the country of Kosovo so our customers can accomplish their mission,” said Leroy.
They are the only two American Air Force personnel deployed here, and the highlights of their tour have been reading books to Kosovo schoolchildren and ruck marching in a 25K sponsored by the Danish in Kosovo.
CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo American Air Force Staff Sergeant David Leroy deploys a weather sensor in the field here. (Photo courtesy Leroy)