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Airman works in services and intelligence while deployed

Posted 8/10/2011   Updated 8/10/2011 Email story   Print story


by 1st Lt. Cammie Quinn
Provincial Reconstruction Team Paktya Public Affairs

8/10/2011 - PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan  -- While deployed with the Provincial Reconstruction Team Paktya, one Airman fills two roles for his team.

Senior Airman Leon Spence, a food service journeyman with the PRT deployed from Scott Air Force Base, is filling two important tasks: increasing and maintaining morale, and providing accurate, timely information for servicemembers.

Some of Spence's jobs include improving the quality of life for servicemembers through food service, fitness, housing and mortuary affairs, he said.

As a services Airman, Spence provides necessary functions for the care and well-being of Soldiers and Airmen.

"At home station I'm a food service specialist shift leader," said Spence. "I cook in the flight kitchen three times a day."

As a member of PRT Paktya, Spence has the additional duty of serving as the PRT Paktya intelligence officer's assistant.

PRT Paktya is a combined organization of more than 75 military, Department of State, U.S. AID and U.S. Department of Agribusiness personnel. They are dedicated to assisting the government of Afghanistan in developing the capabilities to ensure a secure, stable country.

Spence produces assessments used in operational planning, collects information on people that the PRT works with, and determines potential locations for improvised explosive devices or other potential attacks.

"I brief the Soldiers and Airmen about insurgent threats, local weather, IED locations and enemy tactics in Paktya Province," Spence said. "I tell them what they can expect and how to combat it so they can come back safely."

Spence also informs leaders working at Forward Operating Base Gardez of the PRT's battle actions.

"Senior Airman Spence provides informative situational awareness of the battlefield for servicemembers to counter enemy actions," said 1st Lt. Ryan Mills, intelligence officer from Carol Stream, Ill.

Despite the increased responsibility, Spence said he feels excited to serve two jobs which will keep him busy throughout his deployment.

"This is my first deployment and so far is one of the best experiences of my life," Spence added. "I hope to get an opportunity like this again in my career, and appreciate everything I'm learning."

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