June 2016 Spotlight Airman

  • Published
  • By 175th Wing Public Affairs

Name: Nastasia E.B. Jackson
Rank: SSgt (E5)
Unit: 175 Operations Support Squadron (OSS)
Job Description (no codes): Airfield Management; we work to maintain a safe flight line; Directs, assists, and provides aircrews with information and services to accomplish operational activities relating to airfield management and flight planning. Coordinates with base agencies to meet aircrew requirements for billeting, messing, refueling, transportation, and transient aircraft maintenance.
Fulltime job: Flight Services Technician
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Joined the MDANG: OCT 2011
Total Service years: 4 years 8 months

Family: I have a big family. I am the youngest of five girls with 16 nieces and nephews. Needless to say, we keep my parents busy. I have been married to my high school sweet-heart for two years. My family has strong ties to the military. My older sister is an active duty Navy lieutenant and one of my nephews is an active duty Army private first class. My grandfather is a retired Army major and my uncle is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel.

Favorite Movie: What Dreams May Come and Awakenings. Both are awesome psychological movies and I love Robin Williams.

Favorite food: Seafood. Any kind. Sushi, fried, sautéed, steamed, grilled....

Favorite Sports Team: RAVENS!!! I love the Orioles too, but there's just something about football season...

Tell us your brief life story?
I was born and raised in Baltimore City. I went to Roland Park elementary/middle where I participated in the Ingenuity Project (advanced math and science). I went on to Baltimore Polytechnic Institute (Poly) for high school, choosing the engineering option. All four years at Poly I participated in AFJROTC and graduated in 2007. I then attended Towson University where I received a Bachelor's of Science in Deaf Studies (American Sign Language) with a minor in Psychology. My ultimate goal was to be a Special Education teacher for multiple/severe disabilities but I joined the military instead. I wanted to join the military for some time but delayed because my big sisters did not agree with it. I came into the 175th Wing just as I was finishing my final semester of college in 2011.

Tell us about your military career?
My military career began with student flight. I then went through basic training, something we can all agree is the most fun you never want to have again. I was pipeline; I went straight to technical school after basic training. After completing all my formal training I returned to the 175th Wing. At this point, I was working on base completing my seasonal training days and eventually was lucky enough to get a full time job here. I have had fun. So far, my career has taken me to Alaska, Las Vegas, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, and Florida. I've seen some pretty awesome things and learned a lot. I hope to continue to learn and serve. No job is perfect, but this one is pretty close.

What brought you to the MDANG?  How have you enjoyed your time here?
Well, in high school, my AFJROTC instructor was SMSgt. Randy Letschin. It was interesting because Sgt. Letschin actually retired from the same squadron I currently work in. I was in Sgt. Letschin's very first class after retiring from the 175th Wing; I'm sure we taught him a lot. The familial atmosphere, order, discipline, and pride I felt from AFJROTC made we want to join the military. I am a family person but I wanted to join the military. I realized the National Guard allowed me to be able to be a member of the military as well as be close to my family. The Maryland Air National Guard seemed like a perfect fit.

What is your favorite Air Force or military memory or story?
Well, I work with pilots, so it's pretty hard to choose, but my favorite military memory was actually enlisting. I was in college so I put off joining for my college career and I don't think my dad realized I was going to enlist. In my final semester of college, I came to the 175th Wing, signed my life away and my uncle swore me in. As soon as all the paperwork was finished, I told my uncle he now had the task of telling my dad that I was in the military. Needless to say my dad was surprised.

What is your proudest moment?
The first time I was left in charge of parking multiple transient aircraft. In airfield management, we deal with whatever airplane comes to our airport; we are attached to the airfield not necessarily the home aircraft. We have to learn the wingtip clearances, weights, turning radius, and needs of various aircraft. We also need to know the dimensions and what our parking apron can handle. Aircraft not assigned to the base become a beast to tackle if you have not worked with them before. The first time I was left in charge of an abnormal parking plan with multiple types of aircraft was nerve racking but exciting. It brought home how important my job is. I do not fly planes, but their safety is my responsibility. There's a reason the Airfield Management creed is "My airfield, my domain."

What are you passionate about?
Doing things right and helping others, I apply this to everything I do. I don't like to make mistakes although I understand they are a way of life. I strive to do my best at all times but if I mess up, I take it as a lesson for the future. I do not like to see people struggle and I enjoy helping others whenever I can. I will do whatever is within my power to help others succeed.