PUNTA SALINAS AIR GUARD STATION, Puerto Rico --
Senior Airman Amanda Gómez, an airborne mission systems operator with the 156th Operations Group, excelled in several ways as the first female in the 156th Host Nation Rider Flight during a recent Basic Airborne Mission Systems Operator course.
Gómez graduated the BAMSO course as the Distinguished Graduate with a 99.8 percent, the highest GPA in her class.
“Being recognized as the Distinguished Graduate was a complete shock for me,” said Gómez. “Since the course started, my goal was to give it all my energy by working hard and putting my mind into the process. I tripped over a few times, but in the end, all the sacrifice was worth it.”
In addition to standing out academically, Gómez exhibited leadership by creating a study program to help classmates during the course.
“From the moment she arrived at this unit, she has shown disposition, dedication, and commitment for her work and helping other coworkers,” said her mentor, Tech. Sgt. Leylany Núñez, a personnel specialist with the 140th Air Defense Squadron.
Gómez joined the PRANG in 2018 as a radar, airfield and weather systems specialist and is a third-generation military member in her family.
“Joining the military has opened many doors for me and also allows me to develop my full potential in a very unique way,” said Gómez.
Gómez is working toward her bachelor’s degree in biology while seeking a minor in one of her favorite hobbies, languages. She speaks Spanish, English, Italian and presently, she’s learning Russian.
“I really enjoy expanding my knowledge about different languages and cultures during my free time,” said Gómez.
As the only female enlisted aviator in the PRANG, Gómez wants to inspire other young women to accomplish remarkable goals.
“I want to empower women to become the best version of themselves so they can be trailblazers for generations to come,” said Gómez.
Gómez accomplished these career milestones while also holding the lowest rank as a BAMSO in the 156th HNR Flight, leading by example for all Airmen.
“Gómez has a constant enthusiasm about performing her job and she is not intimidated by anything in the field,” said Chief Master Sgt. Alberto Torres, the host nation rider flight career enlisted manager. “I envision her as a leader that will inspire other women to accomplish their professional goals by breaking traditional gender barriers in the PRANG.”