Weather officer serves as ops exec in Southwest Asia

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
Instead of leading a weather flight where Airmen monitor the atmospheric change, 1st Lt. Tanya M. Casey has stepped outside her specialty to new heights of support for Air Force operations in the deployed environment.

By her Air Force specialty, she's a weather officer. However, in Southwest Asia, Lieutenant Casey is the executive officer to the 380th Expeditionary Operations Group commander at a non-disclosed base. As the executive officer, she said her duties consist of "a plethora of responsibilities."

"I act as a liaison between the group commander and the commanders of the squadrons within the group," said Lieutenant Casey, who is deployed from the 3rd Air Force at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. "I keep track of the group commander's schedule and ensure that he is prepared for and attends various appointments and meetings."

In addition to directly supporting the operations group commander's efforts, Lieutenant Casey also supports administrative efforts for all the members of the group.

"I also process evaluations and decorations on behalf of members of the group," said the 2002 graduate of Branford High School in her hometown of Branford, Conn. "I also coordinate events -- such as flightline tours and visits -- that span across multiple squadrons within the group as well as special projects as they arise."

Lieutenant Casey, who also graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., in 2006 with a bachelor's degree, said she is more than proud to support the deployed effort in whatever capacity she's called to do.

"I am proud to be serving on this deployment," Lieutenant Casey said. "I'm grateful that I was given the opportunity to serve in this position."

As a weather officer, Lieutenant Casey has to be able to analyze and evaluate meteorological data and prepares forecast products, according to her Air Force specialty job description. She also has to integrate weather analyses and reports with radar and satellite imagery interpretations to support flight crews and commanders.

In comparison, as an executive officer, Lieutenant Casey has to analyze and evaluate administrative polices for the operations group and integrate analyses from the commander into new policies. In all, she said being deployed has been a career-building opportunity.

"Getting the opportunity to work so closely with the operations side of the house has been an eye opening experience for me," Lieutenant Casey said. "I'd recommend that everyone learn as much as they can about all aspects of the Air Force. After all, we're all one fight!"

The 380th Operations Group is part of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing. The 380th AEW is comprised of four groups and 12 squadrons and the wing's deployed mission includes air refueling, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of overseas contingency operations in Southwest Asia. The wing supports Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa and Operation Enduring Freedom.