From the Frontlines: SSgt Amanda Padgett

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston
  • 509 BW/PA
The Air Force offers Airmen many opportunities to journey across the world. For Staff Sgt. Amanda Padgett, 325th Weapons Squadron intelligence analyst, that journey took her to Afghanistan.

Padgett left in February 2012 and is scheduled to return in March 2013, and is currently working downrange as a human intelligence analyst. As a HUMINT analyst, Padgett supports interrogations and conducts research of detainee placements and access to fulfill national intelligence requirements.

"Our job is to research and review analyst comments on outgoing reporting, the collection priorities of each Regional Command and any products developed on specific detainees," Padgett said.

Her mission is to provide collection focuses to interrogators, identify and list collection requirements, and conduct predictive and deductive analysis, she said.

"I've never worked in the human intelligence field, so having this experience will expand my intelligence background and take the knowledge gained here to other offices in the future," Padgett said.

Padgett has not only gained experience in supporting human intelligence operations at a national level, however; as a senior intelligence analyst, she has also had the privilege of learning to manage personnel.

While deployed, she has achieved more than expected. Since joining her deployed team, she has moved from the position of standard analyst to that of senior analyst, and she has also completed eight classes towards her bachelor's degree in business management. Padgett is now half way done with the course.

From researching and reviewing analyst comments, to providing collection focuses to interrogators, her deployed mission is completely different than her mission at Whiteman, where she helps support flying operations.

In addition to supporting interrogations and conducting research on detainees, Padgett has volunteered her time to pack school supplies for the children of Afghanistan.

"It's a good feeling to contribute to the well-being and education of the Afghan children," she said. "At the same time, it was sad to realize how deprived the children are in Afghanistan."

She experienced struggles faced by many other leaders in a joint environment - leading individuals from other branches, and having to gain their respect before being fully backed by their leadership, she said.

Even though Padgett enjoyed her deployment, there were still things she missed besides friends and family.

"I miss freedom the most," Padgett said. "Having freedom to go home to attend holidays and enjoy weekends."

Overall the deployment to Afghanistan has been a solid learning experience for Padgett.

"Padgett was hand-picked by the Strategic Debriefing Center to be the Senior Intelligence Analyst. It is a very extensive and demanding operation where she performs beautifully," said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Gay, SDC Team Leader. "She won NCO of the month while deployed and was coined by the Defense Intelligence Agency multiple times.

"She has published numerous documents - Primacy Directive, SDC Operating Directive and the Collection Focus and Criteria for Interrogations Operations for [Afghanistan]; these publications have directly impacted the Afghan theater and have caused great leaps with the way ahead for the future of interrogation operations in the [Afghanistan] AOR," Gay said.

Padgett's experience shows how just one Airmen can be a vital asset in protecting the nation, and she has provided valuable intelligence analysis which has guided successful joint operations with Special Forces.

"The best part about my deployed job was the overall experience and working with the different services," Padgett said. "It was a good experience. I had the opportunity to see how the Army, Navy and Air Force operate differently from each other. Despite the differences, people can come together to get the job done."