HomeNewsArticle Display

FOCUS summit fosters communication, builds leadership

Maj. Samantha Miller, left, 341st Force Support Squadron commander, talks about working in a diverse environment during a women’s symposium panel discussion March 20, 2018, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The two-day event included numerous guest speakers who discussed topics ranging from diversity and mentorship to money management and balancing military life with personal life. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christy Mason)

Maj. Samantha Miller, left, 341st Force Support Squadron commander, talks about working in a diverse environment during a women’s symposium panel discussion March 20, 2018, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The two-day event included numerous guest speakers who discussed topics ranging from diversity and mentorship to money management and balancing military life with personal life. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christy Mason)

Lt. Col. Naomi Franchetti, 341st Missile Maintenance Squadron commander, talks about adversities she had to overcome while trying to balance military duty with personal life during a women’s symposium March 20, 2018, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The two-day event was geared toward educating, enhancing communication and building leadership and unity across the military and local community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christy Mason)

Lt. Col. Naomi Franchetti, 341st Missile Maintenance Squadron commander, talks about adversities she had to overcome while trying to balance military duty with personal life during a women’s symposium March 20, 2018, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The two-day event was geared toward educating, enhancing communication and building leadership and unity across the military and local community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christy Mason)

Tables of Airmen work together to create a freestanding tower using only marshmallows and toothpicks during a women’s symposium March 20, 2018, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.  Various events throughout the two-day summit challenged participants to communicate and work together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christy Mason)

Tables of Airmen work together to create a freestanding tower using only marshmallows and toothpicks during a women’s symposium March 20, 2018, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Various events throughout the two-day summit challenged participants to communicate and work together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christy Mason)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- The 341st Missile Wing hosted a women’s symposium at Malmstrom March 20-21 geared toward educating, enhancing communication and building leadership and unity across the military and local community.

Over 100 individuals attended the two-day summit titled F.O.C.U.S, an acronym for Females Organized to Create Unity and Success. The event was open to women and men, to include Air Force Global Strike Command personnel, family members and local community partners.

“The focus of the event was to help empower Airmen, to encourage them to grow in confidence and just learn from each other,” said 1st Lt. Monica Urias, 490th Missile Squadron missile combat crew commander and event organizer. “We wanted the attendees to leave feeling like they formed networks, had people in their corner and felt more empowered in their jobs and in their life.”

In addition to Airmen from Malmstrom Air Force Base, nearly 40 individuals from Minot AFB, North Dakota; F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming; and Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, were able to attend the summit.

“I think sometimes at a missile base we feel isolated because we are way up here in the northern tier and our mission is unique, so it’s very different than the rest of the Air Force,” said Urias. “To be able to have women and men from other bases come and hear the same things, to share their stories and know that we’re all in this together builds up a great network and unites us.”

Throughout the event, attendees heard from guest speakers, both military and civilian, who discussed topics ranging from diversity and mentorship to money management and balancing military life with personal life. Multiple sessions created opportunities to network with other attendees and interact with speakers.

“It’s been a great experience,” said Airman First Class Amanda Bulbulian, 341st Missile Wing command post controller. “I’ve met new people and put myself in a new environment. Hearing everyone’s experiences has been encouraging and helped build my morale. There’s definitely a lot of things I’ll be able to take back to my office and share.”

The symposium closed with remarks from Chief Master Sgt. Amber Mitchell, 341st MW command chief, who challenged participants to take back what they learned to their units and duty stations.

“Women can get to the highest enlisted rank, women can get to the highest officer rank. We can do that even while being a mom and being a wife,” Mitchell said. “You can have it all, but not if you don’t have the support to navigate those choices.

“We’ve learned so much and shared so much, so thanks for being on this two-day journey with us. I hope you carry these two days with you for the rest of your lives.”
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.