From the Frontlines: Capt. Sofia Ciro

  • Published
  • By Heidi Hunt
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Capt. Sofia Ciro, 509th Logistics Readiness Squadron officer, deployed to the Transit Center at Manas International Airport, Kyrgysztan, from April to November 2010 from this Air Force Global Strike Command base. She was the operations officer for the 376th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron.

During this period Captain Ciro supported Operation Enduring Freedom combat operations, enabling U.S. and coalition forces to prosecute the global war on terror.

"I led operations for the wing's largest squadron providing fuel, onward movement and airlift to Afghanistan," said Captain Ciro.

Her efforts contributed to setting a record for air refueling mission support during the Afghan elections, and establishing long range fuel sustainability that prevented the evacuation of the KC-135 fleet.

"I directed the movement of 224,461 U.S. and coalition military forces, directly setting the highest record passenger move of 55,000 passengers in a month," she said. The captain also directed 30,000 troop surge operations and finalized the airlift of 727 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicles (MATV) to warfighters in Afghanistan.

The importance of her mission in a deployed location and at home station is personal in nature, according to Captain Ciro.

"I am an officer in the U.S. Air Force and the importance of my mission is to know the demands of the operations, set the pace, provide the people with the tools to do what they are trained to do and to serve," the captain said.

Captain Ciro said that each day there was always a new operational demand to work on, a Distinguished Visitor to welcome, a briefing to give, a trip off base to provide humanitarian assistance or represent the TCM at an event, a call in the middle of the night, or something new to deliver.

"Every day was fun and brought a new meaning to the mission," she said "If I had a 'typical day', I would have been bored and miserable."

Overall Captain Ciro said the best part about her deployment was working with the community.

"I volunteered to lead and was elected president of the Manas Area Benefit Outreach Society (MABOS) which is the largest private organization at the TCM," she said. "The organization was founded eight years ago by a group of military members who saw the need to reach out to a community in Kyrgyzstan that lacked the basic standard of living."

Captain Ciro led 22 focus group leaders and managed 10 Kyrgyzstan organizations sponsored by MABOS--including: the Babushka Adoption Foundation, Children's Hearth Ward, Children's Cancer Center, Center for the People, Manas Social Village and the WWII Veterans provides them with food.

"I thought I was going to change the lives of others in need, but they changed my life," she said. "The people of Kyrgyzstan are both wonderful and great to work with."

Col. David Zorzi, 376th Expeditionary Mission Support Group commander, spoke highly of the captain's efforts and said her commitment to the Wing's Humanitarian Assistance program was further evident as she volunteered to spend two extra weeks deployed to help establish the wing's Theatre Security Cooperation (TSC) Division.

"Capt. Ciro is a very caring and dedicated Airman," said Col. Zorzi. "She's fantastic at fostering camaraderie and esprit de corps."

This was Captain Ciro's first deployment as an LRO after cross-training into the field so she could deploy more.

"I look forward to another deployment," she said. "I couldn't have asked for a better team of professionals to work with, to have fun with and learn from."

Although she enjoyed her deployment she said missed her supportive home stations squadron, her family, especially her son, Cannon, and is happy to be home with them.