Air Force

September 26, 2013

Reservist protects her country with two careers

Tags:
Master Sgt. Kelly Ogden
12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Public Affairs
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Adam Grant)
Airman Tech Sgt. Yvette Orellana, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Force Protection Office, smiles after receiving an Air Force commendation medal Sept. 20. Orellana is receiving her Commendation medal for her accomplishments while serving as the anti-terrorism officer for the 12th Air Expeditionary Task Force-New Horizons Belize, Headquarters 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern)

Most of the time you’ll find Yvette Orellana serving as a federal police officer for the U.S. Forest Service in Santa Barbara, Calif., patrolling in her squad car, writing tickets, protecting natural resources, as well as serving her local community as a mentor to teens heading down the wrong path.

One might assume that in her offtime in federal law enforcement, she’d enjoy a quieter life reading books, walking alongside the beach or just enjoying a slower pace. Nothing could be further from the truth. In her “down-time,” she trades in her police uniform for camouflage and serves as an anti-terrorism officer for 12th Air Force (Air component to U.S. Southern Command, or AFSOUTH).

“In a traditional security forces squadron I belong to a unit and would serve as either a team leader or a fire team leader,” Orellana said. “Here the job is totally different, you aren’t just protecting the base – you’re in charge of all of the security for Department of Defense personnel in our area of responsibility (AOR).”

Tech. Sgt. Yvette Orellana, who has served in the U.S. Air Force for 11 years as both active-duty and an individual mobilization augmentee (IMA) in the security forces career field, has had several deployments and assignments that have taken her all over the world.She views her current position in the 12th AF (AFSOUTH) Force Protection Office as the best assignment to date.

Orellana says that as an Airman she didn’t get to see behind the scenes and didn’t always understand the operational and tactical direction she was given Time here at AFSOUTH, has opened up her eyes to the level of time, effort, and operational planning that goes into making every mission and exercise a success, she says.

For Orellana, operating as traditional squadron-level security forces versus working at the Numbered Air Force (NAF) was like night and day. The most difficult part of her job is getting people to realize that there are dangers in their environment, and practicing operational security (OPSEC) at all times.

“We do things that are for other people’s own good, but they don’t always see that until something bad happens,” she says. “We have the responsibility of making sure everyone follows regulations and policy for equipment storage, weapons accountability and equipment accountability because if it gets stolen it falls on us.”

During a recent deployment in support of New Horizons Belize, Orellana deployed for four months as the anti-terrorism officer for several medical readiness training exercises where she assessed vulnerabilities on all of the schools, hospitals, hotels and restaurants, coordinated and supervised more than 50 Belizean Defence Force members. She says her favorite part of the deployment was interacting with the locals and learning their culture.

Having a father from Guatemala and being able to speak fluent Spanish assisted Orellana in removing some of the culture divided between U.S. service members and their partner nations in Central America, South America and the Caribbean. She said she was better able to create partnerships and long-lasting friendships despite the fact that male-dominated military structures in Central and South America were not accustomed to working with females.

“It’s a double-edged sword because some of the countries we visit have very male dominated militaries and by my position, I often have to interact with their higher echelon leaders,” Orellana says. “The U.S. is very diverse in the fact that a man and woman can do the same job, and I think that we are kind of showing these other countries that if given the opportunity, a woman can succeed in any position.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force Illustration by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

Don’t become a target

Considering recent threats against Americans and the exponential growth of social media use, becoming a target of an adversary is easier than ever. Operations Security is a process that identifies unclassified, critical informa...
 
 
BreastCancerAwareness_pict

An Airman’s story: My mother didn’t fight alone

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – His green eyes frantically searched the crowd for his dying mother. During his final pass and review at basic military training (BMT) he saw her in the stands, cheering him on. A year later, ...
 
 

Fire Prevention Week 2014

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski) Sparky the Fire Dog, National Fire Protection Association spokesdog, and members from the 355th Fire Emergency Services flight taught children from the Child Development Center how to stop, drop and roll at Davis-Monthan, Oct. 8. The 355th FES conducted several events in conjunction with Fire...
 

 

Troops to Teachers helps Airmen serve after separation

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – For many service members who are separating from the military, finding employment that utilizes prior training or skills gained while serving can be difficult. For Airmen who are honorably discharged from their military commitment and have an interest in ‘serving’ again as an educational instructor, the Troops to Teachers program is...
 
 

Military Tuition Assistance Program implements changes for FY15

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. – Air Force active duty Airmen who want to take advantage of the military assistance programs for voluntary education in the coming academic year can expect several changes that were implemented on Oct. 1, 2014. The new Air Force Credentialing Opportunities Online, also referred to as AF COOL, will take the place...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin