DVIDS – News – Command and Control Airman Wins Air Force Level Commission

For many, winning an Air Force-level award would be the highlight of their year, but for one Airman, the award was just the icing on the cake.

Technology. Sergeant Victoria Vazquez was recently named U.S. Air Force Command and Control Operations Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.

“It was a really great year,” Vazquez said. “When I was informed of this award, I was already reeling from my selection for commissioning.”

In addition to receiving NCO of the Year honors, she was selected to Officer Training School as an Air Battle Manager last fall and is currently awaiting her reporting date.

“Waiting is not something I’m good at,” Vazquez said.

Vasquez is the child of an Army veteran and has always been patriotic. She wanted to join the military, “for many reasons, not the least of which was to be part of something bigger than myself.”

When the job she was interested in in the National Guard didn’t materialize quickly enough, she joined an Air Force recruiter on a whim and ended up as a Persian-Farsi linguist in the Air Force.

“I loved that job, but it’s a huge squadron, and not being on an active mission or in training meant I had to wait for an opportunity to use my skills,” she said. “And I wanted to do more.”

A pivotal point came with an assignment as a Resilience Training Assistant at the Offutt AFB Community Support Office, where she led and organized training events for the entire squadron. She worked with all kinds of people at different levels and discovered that her strength lay in interacting with others.

“That assignment was crucial to my development as a leader and made me realize there was more,” said Vazquez.

She later retrained in Command and Control, better known as Command Post. Command posts are different at each base, but they all meet four key competencies: mission monitoring, emergency management, operational reporting and emergency response.

“Most people view emergency management as part of the command post’s duties,” she said. “But there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than the ‘giant voice’ that everyone knows.”

Operational reporting is a large part of her job, and there are rules and matrices for reporting situations to AFMC command leadership or the Air Force Chief of Staff.

She also gained experience in policies and procedures, overseeing manning and deployment cycles for six AFMC bases while working on a new update to the Air Force manual.

Vazquez remains in the Air Force because of the sense of security she feels for herself and her family and the leadership potential it provides.

“There is always something new to learn,” she says. “The Air Force offers so many opportunities for growth.”

Her OTS assignment as an Air Battle Manager will be directly related to her current job as she will provide command and control capabilities to airborne units, specifically the Airborne Warning and Control System, while learning new skills.

“I am pleased to be in a valued position where I am at the heart of the Air Force but can still draw on the expertise I have gained during my service,” she said.

Off duty, Vazquez coaches soccer and spends time with her wife and son, who are eager to begin this new phase. However, no one is more proud of her achievements than her team.

“This reflects her expertise, dedication and leadership impact in the C2 mission,” said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Schreiner, director of Air, Space, and Cyberspace Operations: “We are all proud of her achievements.”

Date of recording: 22.05.2024
Date posted: 22.05.2024 12:04
Story ID: 471984

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