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Shared Experiences | 8th EAMS | Miranda Petti

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Brigette Waltermire
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Senior Airman Miranda Petti does it all.

Literally.

On her first deployment to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Petti works in the 8th Expeditionary Aircraft Mobility Squadron as an air transportation passenger representative. From loading pallets and working security screening checkpoints, to checking-in passengers and driving buses to pick up passengers from the flight line, she has a direct hand in supporting the movement of passengers and cargo heading in, out or passing through the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

She’s also taking six 15-week college courses during her deployment as she works toward her degree in management information systems. She wants to work in data analytics and study consumer behavior. Or become a pilot.

“Being at Dover, we are on C-5s and C-17s all the time and even here and downrange you’re around them, so it’s something you’re familiar with,” she noted. “I would like to commission and fly.”

Right now, she’s also in ROTC at the University of Delaware and studying to get her private pilot’s license. She’s completed ground school online and plans to start flying through the Aero Club at Dover Air Force Base, where she is an Air Force Reservist.

“My school is online right now with COVID, so I still go to school full time and I get to be here,” she said about the deployment. “I thought deployment was going to put a major fork in all of my plans; but even though it’s a lot of work, I’m not behind in school when I’m trying to graduate early, so it’s worked out.”

There is a lot on her plate on deployment as member who contributes to movements around the the Gateway to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. The squadron is not only juggling standard logistics, but the challenges COVID-19 presents as well.

“The passenger mission out here is a lot different than at home, especially because of COVID guidelines,” she said. “There's a lot of different regulations and different countries we're dealing with. Our job is the same, there's just a lot more roles. I've definitely become a lot more familiar with my job and a lot more thorough because there are 100 different rules that change every week. I would say every once in a while, there's something cool or something different that you have to learn and adapt to for the first time.”

As an enlisted Airman, Petti has experienced a lot on her first deployment – allowing her to see all sides of the coin when it comes to flightline operations, as well as figure out what she might want to do in the future as she looks toward the rest of her Air Force career.

“I like people, so I think I’d really be happy doing whatever,” she said. “I like the opportunities that being a reservist provides, the freedom to have a normal civilian life – plus the places I travel and people I meet during our annual tours every year. I have no intentions of leaving anytime soon.”

Her time in the 8th EAMS has shown Petti more about the broad mission sets of the airframes she works around here and in Delaware, as well as given her experience being full-time active duty outside of her two-week annual training. While she plans to stay in the military for the foreseeable future, she has not decided whether she will try to commission as an officer after college, or maybe even after having pursued graduate degree. She hasn’t quite decided about getting a master’s yet.