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    Keeping commanders on time: Airman uses organizational skills to complete missions

    ST. JOSEPH, MO, UNITED STATES

    03.08.2020

    Story by Senior Airman Audrey Chappell 

    139th Airlift Wing

    ST. JOSEPH, Mo.-- A neat stack comprised of a leather-bound notebook, an oversized planner and a scratch-free iPad is hugged tightly to her chest - their contents contain a multitude of schedules, to-do lists, mental notes, phone numbers and agendas, each point highlighted with a blue highlighter.

    “I am a bit of an organizational freak,” said Capt. Angela Atha, 139th Airlift Wing executive officer.

    Atha keeps the wing leadership punctual and prepared. As an executive officer, she works with the wing commander and leadership team on their schedules, speeches and other administrative actions. She says she never goes anywhere without that stack, in which the next item to check off is her upcoming trip to Washington D.C.

    Atha plays a key role in organizing the upcoming annual D.C. Fly-In, in which 139th leaders, at the invitation of the Community Alliance of St. Joseph, will travel to Washington D.C. as an opportunity to meet their representatives. She says the most gratifying part of her job is being able to make an impact on the future generations of the 139th.

    “It’s extremely rewarding to see and be a part of seeing this wing grow,” she said. “It feels like a family here.”

    She’s maintained the same attitude throughout her military career.

    Atha enlisted in the Air National Guard in 2008 with the 145th Airlift Wing, South Carolina Air National Guard, as an aerospace medical technician, just after earning a bachelor's degree in health sciences at Arkansas Tech University. She completed nursing school and graduate school in health care administration.

    In 2012, Atha transferred to the 139th and served in the 139th Medical Group and was assigned to the 180th Airlift Squadron. She also served in the medical element of the Missouri National Guard Homeland Response Force. During her time there she was convinced to commission as a medical service corp officer.

    “On Saturday I was a tech sergeant, and on Sunday I was a first lieutenant,” Atha said. “It was my calling and I needed to seek out that opportunity and see if I could serve in a much higher capacity.”

    As a brand new officer, she took part and prepared her Airmen for an innovation readiness training exercise in Harlingen, Texas. Along with the Texas National Guard, the 139th Medical Group set up free clinics to provide care to the impoverished population, to include free vaccinations, dental and eye examinations. They helped more than 20,000 people.

    “Sometimes it involved something as simple as going and getting lunch for them,” Atha said. “I get such fulfillment out of helping someone.”

    Atha also said her organizational skills and time management was really put to the test during this mission because not only was she helping patients, but also ensuring her Airmen were getting the training they needed for the mission.

    “At the end of the day I wasn’t sure if we all were gonna be able to come together and work together as a team, but in the end it all worked out,” she said.

    As a civilian, Atha serves as a government employee at the Department of Health and Human Services in Colorado. She willingly commutes back and forth from her Colorado home to Missouri for drill. She refuses to transfer to a closer wing because she’s established her career and her support group at the 139th.

    “It’s a blessing to travel back and forth because it gives me a bit of a break and to come here and learn from incredible leaders of the 139th. [That] is why I keep coming back here,” Atha said. “I’ll probably be here till the end of career because it feels like a family here. They always take good care of me.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.08.2020
    Date Posted: 03.08.2020 14:35
    Story ID: 364738
    Location: ST. JOSEPH, MO, US 

    Web Views: 23
    Downloads: 0
    Podcast Hits: 0

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