World

May 8, 2014

From American Samoa to Afghanistan: Polynesian PERSCO processes Bagram Airmen

Tags:
Senior Master Sgt. Gary J. Rihn
455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Gary J. Rihn)
Senior Airman Desirae Faasavalu provides information to Airmen arriving at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, April 17. Faasavalu, who is deployed from Davis-Monthan AFB, is assigned to the 455th PERSCO (Personnel Support for Contingency Operations) team, and was meeting personnel as they arrived at the passenger terminal from an inbound flight.

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Lackland Air Force Base is worlds away from American Samoa, in more ways than one.

And for Senior Airman Desirae Faasavalu, she found a few of those differences right away.

“It was a huge culture shock, seeing all of the buildings and freeways and no greenery,” she said.

Faasavalu is a native of American Samoa, who left her island for the first time to travel to Air Force Basic Training in Texas. Despite being initially homesick, she soon adapted, and even thrived in her new setting. She started off with a strong performance in basic training, where she was named Honor Graduate for her flight.

“I persevered in basic training because I wanted to make my parents proud. They were my main motivation,” she said.

Coming from a family of five other siblings, she wanted to get an education and better herself.

“Besides Air Force training, I have already completed my Community College of the Air Force degree, am working on my bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering, and would like to go on to get a master’s,” said Faasavalu.

Following basic training, Faasavalu continued her military training, and was assigned to the Force Support Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. She is currently deployed to Bagram as a member of the Personnel Support for Contingency Operations team, where she is in charge of waivers and extensions.

Early in her career, Faasavalu was selected to perform as a vocalist with the Air Force’s premier Tops In Blue touring ensemble. She spent a year with the program, traveling around the United States and Europe, performing for Service members. In addition to her singing, she enjoys dancing and playing musical instruments.

When not busy processing passengers arriving at or departing Bagram, she volunteers as the public affairs representative for the Airmen Committed to Excellence group on base, where she helps to tell the story of the Airmen at Bagram.

Faasavalu said that she is the first of her family to join the military, and is proud that she can help to support her family in American Samoa, where her father is the High Talking Chief for their village, Nu’uuli. He is the liaison between the villagers and the governor in important matters. Even with her family’s prominent position on the island, she saw how her parents struggled trying to send her older brother and sister through college.

“If I could help my parents and take away that burden for them, I knew that I wanted to help,” she said.

She is also very proud of her heritage, and enjoys talking about it when possible.

“I love representing our Polynesian culture. Everyone should be prideful and love where they come from. If there’s one thing about me that people know, it’s how much I love my culture.”




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


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Trevor T. McBride)

D-M A-10’s train at RAF Lakenheath

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England — A Theater Security Package comprised of A-10C Thunderbolts and Airmen from the 355th Fighter Wing, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., arrived at the Liberty Wing March 13 to train...
 
 

Cybercrime: How it affects you

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho (AFNS) — Cybercrime is the fastest growing and most dynamic area of crime. Ever-increasing reliance on cyber technology is allowing criminals to operate with virtual impunity across a range of criminal activities and jurisdictions. Although the types of crimes are not necessarily new (theft, fraud, extortion, drug proliferation and...
 
 

Women’s History Month: Remembering the past, looking toward the future

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy (AFNS) — During the 1900s, answering phone calls, maintaining records and providing minor health care were some of few roles women who served in the military were permitted to fill. Jobs left open because men left for war, gave women the opportunity to step up and volunteer on the home front....
 

 

Where the land meets the sky Davis-Monthan deployers participate in “Show-n-Tell” in Bagram

U.S. Airmen from the 455 EAMXS and 41 EAMU deployed to Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, participated in a “Show-n-tell” with U.S. Marines also deployed to BAF on Feb. 23. This meeting afforded an opportunity for members of both services to become better acquainted with equipment and procedures utilized during joint missions. The Airmen showcased the...
 
 
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by 2nd Lt. Lacey Roberts)

Norway’s pilots illuminate air space

Beginning this year, Norwegian student-pilots will receive additional training in critical areas, representing a milestone in their now 18 year association with the 162nd Wing’s F-16 Schoolhouse. “The expansion of the Norwe...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Evelyn Chavez)

Safeguarding ground troops from above

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Roaring his way down the runway in a 43 thousand pound machine, Maj. Vincent Sherer pilots an A-10 Thunderbolt II into the skies of Afghanistan to provide overwatch and close air support f...
 




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