CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait , May 29, 2020 —
Elmira, N.Y., a small community bursting with historical charm and neighborly locals, was the starting point for a young 19 year old looking for an opportunity to branch out of his hometown.
When deciding his next step in life – a passing glance at a flyer turned into a life-changing encounter.
“I just saw the [Air Force recruiting] ad and it sounded like fun,” he remarked.
Now, at 27 years old, U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. David Chorpenning serves as a SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) specialist for Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
“Walking around the woods and teaching people are two of my passions; SERE has definitely fulfilled them,” Chorpenning noted.
During a virtual troop engagement event, the most innovative and hard-working Airmen supporting vital military operations in Southwest Asia were coined by Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella Jr., Commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command – Chorpenning was among those recognized Airmen.
"My team helped me get where I am – I'm grateful for that,” he stated.
During Chorpenning’s deployment, the coronavirus pandemic has brought about a multitude of unforeseen challenges. Despite these unusual circumstances, Chorpenning was able to achieve new heights to enhance mission capability.
Just a few of his accomplishments included conducting theater SERE and personnel recovery training for 29 military members prior to them performing outside the wire missions into Syria, serving as the lead controller for a downed aircraft incident, and providing underwater egress training to 22 aviators from the 82nd Airborne Division, enabling them to successfully conduct missions over the Arabian Gulf.
Chorpenning feels honored to support CJTF-OIR’s mission to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS in Iraq and Northeast Syria.
“We are here to defeat ISIS—it is a noble purpose,” Chorpenning concluded. “ISIS is a pretty clear evil.”