Supporting the Air Force from Southwest Asia

Lucy* shares her experience of being deployed in Southwest Asia. Check out her story.

Sharing a deployment story from Southwet Asia. Part of the 31 Days of Deployment Stories.



Rank during deployment:

1st Lieutenant (O-2) 

Where did you deploy to?

Southwest Asia

What was you or your team’s mission?

Support United States Air Force and coalition partners’ in the application of Air Power

What does this mean exactly?

Airmen around the globe protect American interests daily. At U.S. Central Command’s Combined Air Operations Center, Airmen lead Joint operations throughout the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Horn of Africa. We have nearly 20,000 Active Duty Airmen stationed in Japan and on the Korean Peninsula, where we fly regularly with our Pacific partners. More than 23,000 Total Force Airmen around the globe conduct operations in and through space and cyberspace supporting the Joint Force. –US Posture Statement 2016 

What was your job?

Group Executive Officer

What does an executive officer do in the Air Force?

In the Air Force, an executive officer (XO) is not a command or second-in-command position like it is in the Army. Instead, it is used to designate a company grade officer or junior field grade officer who serves as a staff administrative assistant to a senior officer. Starting with a commander at the squadron level or above. Other uniformed services branches often call this position an aide, an “executive assistant” or an adjutant. – source wikipedia.

What cultural differences do you remember between Qatar and the United States?

95% of women wore full head and body coverings in public; Muslim call to prayer was broadcast in public areas

What landscape differences do you remember between the country you went to and the United States?

Complete dessert; camels; stacks of burning oil in the distance; zero elevation or hills.

Were there any particular foods that you ate while in Southwest Asia from the United States?

Substituted beef or chicken for pork.

What was the hardest thing you faced with the cultural difference in Southwest Asia?

Our group easily stood out off base because of skin tone and clothing.

As a female, do you remember being treated differently because of your sex, explain?

I only remember that a group of American females would draw a lot of staring off base. I don’t know if males got the same attention. Otherwise, everyone was very polite and respectful.

Did you have any regular frustrating situations or a frustrating situation you can share about?

No. The base caters very well to males and females regarding clothing, toiletries, workout classes, restrooms, sleeping spaces, etc.

What is the one thing you remember most from your deployment?

Hearing the Muslim call to prayer in public for the first time.

Is there a memory or story from your deployment you want to share?

I’m loving this deployment so far!

Today is Day 26 of 31 Days of Deployment Stories. If you want to see a complete list of all the post click here. Yesterday I shared a look at what it was like to be deployed doing Target Development in Al Udeid. Tomorrow we are headed to Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. Don’t miss a post. Sign up for my weekly email list here.

*Name changed for privacy

6 comments on “Supporting the Air Force from Southwest Asia

  1. Thank you, Lucy, for all you do for our country! I had no idea we had so many service people in such a variety of places. Thank you for sharing your story! (and thank you, Amanda, for educating us!)

    • I am so glad I could share these stories with all of you. We truly have so many people doing so many different things all over the world.

    • The weird part is that not all Muslim countries do this. Afghanistan is a Muslim country, but I never heard the call to prayer. It is interesting how different cultures even within the same religion have different traditions.

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