News: From Ukraine to U.S. to Southwest Asia: Davis-Monthan senior airman says he's proud to support deployed mission
Story by Senior Airman Jenifer Calhoun
SOUTHWEST ASIA -- At only 10 years of age in 1995, Senior Airman Aleksandr Dromov and his family immigrated to the United States from Odessa, Ukraine. Looking back, he can remember the chill in his bones as they arrived in Brooklyn, N.Y., nearly 15 years ago.
"It was cold and snowy when we arrived -- I remember that distinctly," said Dromov, a material management journeyman with the 380th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron at a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia. "It was also a time for new opportunity for my family and something I haven't forgotten to this day."
Opportunity took some time to reveal itself to Dromov and his family, he said. They first lived for a time in the U.S. in Brooklyn, but now the senior airman calls Memphis, Tenn., his hometown. In 2001, an event took place that drove him to become what he is today -- an Airman in the U.S. Air Force.
"I came from a poor country when I was young," said Dromov, who is deployed from the 355th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. "The U.S. gave me and my family a second chance. After the events of Sept. 11, 2001, I felt very patriotic. I joined the military because I felt like it was my duty to serve, especially at these times."
And now he's deployed with the 380th ELRS managing document control with the squadron's supply management section. "What we do in supply is so critical to the mission," Dromov said. "You can't fly without supply. As a matter of fact, you can't really do anything without supply."
His deployed job, he said, keeps him busy and filled with responsibility.
"I work by myself here on the document control tasks," said Dromov, who is fluent in speaking both Russian and English. "The job consists of clearing and storing all documents in the system and from the system. I also provide assistance with our equipment management which involves inspecting all equipment items and their accounts on base. We have millions of dollars worth of equipment here so the responsibility level of our folks is high."
Dromov said he also assists with promoting safety in the workplace. "I am also a safety representative for our flight," he said. "I help enforce safety standards and provide safety briefings for our personnel."
His squadron, 380th ELRS, supports operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa as part of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing. Dromov said he works his hardest every day to keep his part of the deployed mission rolling on, however he does miss some people who are very special to him.
"There a lot of things you leave behind such as family," Dromov said. "My family is the most important thing in the world to me and it's hard to be away from them. However, we are doing important work here and I know they appreciate what I'm doing in the service to my country."
And serving in the military, he believes, was one of the best choices he's made and has given more opportunities in life to succeed.
"I'm very glad I joined the military," Dromov said. "I've been in so many different places and met so many good people. I feel like I have matured greatly in such a short period of time. I was given a career and I try to do it to the best of my abilities daily."
Where he is deployed now may not be cloudy, cold and snowy - more like hot, dry and sunny. However, he said his home right now is with the Air Force no matter where it takes him. The point is, he said, to be surrounded by the Air Force's number on asset.
"It's important to surround yourself with good people and I have that in the Air Force," Dromov said. "I have learned a lot from my leadership in the military and that is one thing I've seen since serving.
"Where I'm serving now on deployment is nothing like where I originally came from or where I am from in the U.S.," he said. "But it is where I am now and the people I work with and the people in my life who make all the decisions I ever made worth the effort."
The 380th AEW is home to the KC-10 Extender, E-3 Sentry, U-2 Dragonlady and RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft. The wing is comprised of four groups and 12 squadrons and the wing's deployed mission includes air refueling, surveillance, and reconnaissance in support of overseas contingency operations in Southwest Asia.
This work, From Ukraine to U.S. to Southwest Asia: Davis-Monthan senior airman says he's proud to support deployed mission, by MSgt Jenifer Calhoun, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.