Airman Spotlight : Tech. Sgt. Sandra O’Fallon
By Ms. Caresse Parenteau, Intern, Southwick Tolland Regional High School
/ Published April 04, 2009
BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Massachusetts -- There are many different jobs here in the 104th Fighter Wing, and one person I had the opportunity to talk with was Technical Sergeant Sandra L. O'Fallon. She has many responsibilities in Operations. She utilizes ARMS, Aviation Resource Management System, to track the unit's pilots training history. The pilots have to stay up to date with safety equipment and training. Her other responsibilities include: operation control, radio/telephone communication, tracking training hours, standards and evaluations. She also prepares for unit deployments by making sure the records are up to date and the shop has supplies.
Sgt. O'Fallon has spent 8 years in the Air Force, 2 and a 1/2 years of active duty, and the remaining time in the guard. She has been full time for a year and loves her job. She enjoyed the deployments she'd been on because it gave her a chance to meet new people and see old friends. She has been deployed to Iraq twice, once as part of a volunteer rotation. Her original motivation to join the military was the educational benefits and the opportunity to get away from her hometown in Florida. She graduated from UMass-Amherst in May 2007 with a major in Hospitality Tourism Management and a minor in psychology.
Sgt. O'Fallon enjoys spending time with her husband, who is a doctoral student at UMass-Amherst. She is also very proud of her Korean heritage.
During my time with Tech. Sergeant Sandra O'Fallon, I learned many new things about what goes on behind the desk in Operations. Nuances such as cataloging events that occur with the aircraft, such as take offs and landing, which are documented in Zulu time so that everyone uses the same time, regardless of their location. Zulu time is about 5 hours ahead of our local time and is based on the time in Greenwich UK. Also, call signs are used for the pilots instead of their real names; a two-syllable name is used to help with security and clarity of communications.
Recently, Sgt. O'Fallon was appointed the new President of the Enlisted Advisory Council. She enjoys the opportunity to make a difference on base. In addition, she was selected as the Base and State Non-commissioned Officer of the Year. When I asked her about her award she said, "I'm just doing my job."