News: Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst staff sergeant, Bronx native, manages learning resources in Southwest Asia
Story by Senior Airman Jenifer Calhoun
SOUTHWEST ASIA -- For the nearly seven years of his Air Force career, Staff Sgt. Michael Sala has been helping people. The staff sergeant has continued that effort as the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Learning Resources Center for his deployed base.
Sala, a services craftsman, is deployed with the 380th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron managing activities for the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Learning Resources Center at a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia. He is deployed from the 87th FSS at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
The Learning Resources Center, or LRC, is the hub for deployed to check out movies, educational material, music and language compact discs and fictional, biography and reference books to name a few things. In doing this deployed job, Sala worked six days a week, 12 hours a day.
"My main effort has been to provide customer service," said Sala, whose hometown is Bronx, N.Y. "I try to be as helpful as I can to all of our customers by helping them find with they are looking for. And I do it in a timely manner."
Throughout of each of his deployed work days, in addition to keeping focused on helping customers, Sala keeps his facility organized and makes improvements to the facility.
"What helps me to do my job is the support from my management on my ideas and any improvements that I will make at the Learning Resources Center," Sala said. "I'm the middle man between the deployed service members and the library headquarters located at Langley Air Force Base [Va.] by letting them know their needs and wants at this deployed location."
The force support Airman said he enjoys taking the time to support deployed personnel because what the LRC offers are sources for morale improvement and education, such as movies or language learning software. "If they want to learn a foreign language or need educational books I will make sure they get the best materials that we have," he said.
In his years of service to the Air Force and the military, Sala said he is proud of what he does -- particularly during a deployment.
"Being in the Air Force has been great for me," Sala said. "I have a career, my family has no worries about medical care and you can't beat free tuition towards my collage education. Being deployed can be hard because I'm away from my family, but it's also gives me a chance to meet people from different bases and see how they work.
"If you want to meet people the military is the way to go," Sala added. "I have met a lot of my good friends through military and I'm still making new friends in the military every day."
Upon his return to his home unit in New Jersey, Sala said he will know he left Southwest Asia with the understanding that thousands of Airmen benefited from his support. "In the end, I was just doing my job but it's a job that I'm happy that it helped them through their deployment."
The 380th EFSS is a sub-unit of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing. The 380th AEW 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. The wing supports Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa and Operation Enduring Freedom.
This work, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst staff sergeant, Bronx native, manages learning resources in Southwest Asia, by MSgt Jenifer Calhoun, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.