From the Frontlines: Senior Airman Victoria Hill

Senior Airman Victoria Hill, 445th Communications Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, poses with Dex, an American K-9, during her six-month deployment to Shindand Air Base, Afghanistan, Oct. 25, 2012.  Hill volunteered to wear a full-body suit to help the K-9s practice for real-world situations. (Courtesy photo/Released)

Senior Airman Victoria Hill, 445th Communications Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, poses with Dex, an American K-9, during her six-month deployment to Shindand Air Base, Afghanistan, Oct. 25, 2012. Hill volunteered to wear a full-body suit to help the K-9s practice for real-world situations. (Courtesy photo/Released)

Senior Airman Victoria Hill née Allstott, 445th Communications Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, poses aboard an aircraft during her recent deployment to Shindand Air Base, Afghanistan, Nov. 26, 2012. Hill returned in January from a six-month deployment where she worked in knowledge operations management and the communications focal point. (Courtesy photo/Released)

Senior Airman Victoria Hill née Allstott, 445th Communications Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, poses aboard an aircraft during her recent deployment to Shindand Air Base, Afghanistan, Nov. 26, 2012. Hill returned in January from a six-month deployment where she worked in knowledge operations management and the communications focal point. (Courtesy photo/Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Communication transformation is perpetually ongoing to meet today's mission requirements. Many Air Force agencies count on the support of the Communications Focal Point to centralize and fulfill the priorities.

Senior Airman Victoria Hill, 509th Mission Support Group commander's knowledge operations manager, understands this responsibility firsthand, as a major part of her job on a recent deployment was to ensure effective and efficient communication between U.S. forces, coalition forces and contractors.

She returned in January from a six-month deployment with the 445th Communications Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron at Shindand Air Base, Afghanistan, where she honed both her skills and job knowledge.

While deployed, she worked in knowledge operations management, and in the Communications Focal Point as a client services technician and content manager.

"I was the voice between the customer and the Airman working an issue," Hill said. "When I arrived at the 445th, I was told I would be working in the CFP helpdesk since they were undermanned. I was a little nervous at first since that is part of a completely different job.

"I worked in the CFP for the first two months of my deployment and then was pulled back to do work in knowledge operations management for the remainder," Hill said.

Hill also had two additional duties -- unit mail clerk and base cellphone monitor. As a unit mail clerk, she was responsible for picking up personal mail and bringing it back to the unit.

As cellphone monitor, she was responsible for issuing mission required cell phones to personnel and tracking inventory.

Master Sgt. Alicia Maharaj, 509th Bomb Wing KOM superintendent and deployed supervisor, praised Hill's outstanding work ethic, calling her a phenomenal asset to the Air Force.

"She is always positive, professional and has risen and overcame challenges that presented themselves," Maharaj said. "She is the epitome of an Air Force Airman. We need more like her."

Combined with her work ethic, Hill also volunteered to help support an array of base activities.

"I was a member of the base honor guard and participated in a 9/11 flag ceremony, weekly reveille and retreat ceremonies, and unit level change of commands," Hill said.

She also volunteered for over-watch missions.

"I was the security person between the pilot, co-pilot and Afghan passengers," she said. "My first mission was flying from Shindand to Herat twice, bringing back Afghan pilot students to the base for their pilot training."

"During the week in the evenings, we would help Afghan pilot students with their English skills," she said. "Each night was a different activity. One night was game night, which was more relaxing for them, but its goal was more for them to associate with us and practice English."

Her second mission was from Shindand to Kabul taking Afghan contractors home to visit with their families.

Hill said it was very interesting getting to know one another, exchanging cultural beliefs and telling stories about how they grew up.

"We usually spent an hour with them, but sometimes time would fly and we'd go beyond the hour," Hill said. "They were always excited to see us again the next time."

Although each day brought new experiences, she took the opportunity to take on each challenge with a positive attitude, going above and beyond the call of duty.

Hill made senior airman below-the-zone, Airman of the month twice, Airman of the quarter and received six coins.

She also proffered for the International Security Assistance Force Commander, Marine Gen. John R. Allen, as he pinned bronze stars on soldiers, coined soldiers and airmen and re-enlisted a group of soldiers.

"I enjoyed getting to fire different weapons," Hill said. "I fired the Beretta, .50-caliber M240 machine gun, grenade launchers and rocket launchers, with Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command operators."

Hill also helped security personnel train military working dogs, wearing the bite suit which the dogs latch onto in responding to their trainers.

Hill said she had a great time on her first deployment and met amazing people from all different branches of the military.

"I made friends that I now consider my family," she said. "I got to experience things that I know I wouldn't have gotten to had I not deployed."

She said she would definitely deploy again and is hoping to when her band opens up.

"From the Frontlines" is a weekly column highlighting currently deployed Team Whiteman members, or those who have recently returned from deployment. If you or someone you know is deployed or recently returned from a deployment, contact 660-687-6123 or email whiteman.warrior@us.af.mil