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Master Sgt. Sarah Edwards, 341st Force Support Squadron Airman Leadership School commandant, hands a certificate of appreciation to Senior Airman Bryenna Brooks, 2nd Medical Operations Squadron; Barksdale Air Force Base, La.; following her speech to the ALS graduates on Dec. 18. Brooks was named the Air Force Global Strike Command Outstanding Airman of the Year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Beau Wade)
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Outstanding Airman of the Year visits Malmstrom

Posted 12/26/2012   Updated 12/26/2012 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Cortney Paxton
341st Missile Wing Public Affairs

12/26/2012 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Team Malmstrom members had a chance to visit with Air Force Global Strike Command's Outstanding Airman of the Year this past week.

Senior Airman Bryenna Brooks, 2nd Medical Operations Squadron aerospace medical services technician, travelled here from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., to meet with Airmen and share her experiences and journey to the top of AFGSC.

"I just found out in September that I was chosen as one of the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year and with that I found out that it's a year-long thing," Brooks said. "There are 12 of us that sit on an enlisted council and each of us is in charge of our MAJCOM and there's also Guard and Reserve members on the board as well. We're supposed to go around our MAJCOMs and speak with everyone about any issues, concerns or ways to improve the Air Force. It has been a lot to take in. I'm still learning what all of this means. I honestly didn't know this even existed."

Brooks deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 in support of a joint service effort of Operation Enduring Freedom. She also has hands-on and in-depth experience as a medical technician, emergency medical technician and a combat medic. But, her volunteer work is just as outstanding. She's volunteered to fill sandbags, served as a STARBASE youth mentor, volunteered with the Special Olympics, is a First Four Airman and is also the Hispanic Heritage Secretary.

Her one-day visit on Dec. 18 started with a breakfast with members of Malmstrom's 5/6 Alliance at the dining facility. From there she visited the 40th Helicopter Squadron where she was able to get a ride on one of the squadron's helicopters.

A 40th HS UH-1N Huey crew flew her to a remote training area on Arrow Creek, giving her a chance to experience Great Falls and Malmstrom AFB from above.

Following her flight, she sat in on a Big Sky Top 3 Association general membership meeting at the Grizzly Bend, and from there was able to meet with members of the Airman's Council during a lunch at the dining facility.

She discussed issues or concerns on the minds of the Airmen, including physical training, enlisted performance reports, supervision and leadership, and goals. She also mentioned the main part of her career that she believed helped her gain her spot as one of the Outstanding Airmen of the Year.

"I guess a lot of it had to do with my deployment," she said. "I'm not saying that you need a deployment to get this - there are only two of us out of the 12 that did have a deployment - but that's what helped me. I was deployed to Afghanistan and I was attached to the Army; we were doing convoy missions. There were seven of us - Air Force members - that were medical and attached to them. We did a lot of volunteer work over there on our off time. We'd help out at the [emergency room] and go out to the Afghan hospital and do a lot of volunteer work there."

After her lunch she toured one of Malmstrom's dormitories to experience the living quarters of the base's Airmen.

Her final event during her visit was pretty significant for herself, as well as other members of Team Malmstrom. She had a chance to speak to the graduates of Airmen Leadership School during their graduation ceremony that night.

Brooks brought with her to Malmstrom a different perspective and a vast respect for the Air Force and its Airmen. As one of 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year, she's focused on making the Air Force better both in mission aspects and quality of life. She encouraged every Airman she met to expand their careers and to look out for each other.

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