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AF Memorial: Opportunity name of the game

Staff Sgt. Ashanta Gamble sits inside base operations Oct. 11 at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Sergeant Gamble is coordinating the Pentagon and Federal Aviation Administration approvals for the aircraft flying during the Air Force Memorial dedication ceremony and Air Force open house Oct. 14. Sergeant Gamble works in airfield management with the 316th Operations Support Squadron at Andrews AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry A. Simmons)

Staff Sgt. Ashanta Gamble sits inside base operations Oct. 11 at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Sergeant Gamble is coordinating the Pentagon and Federal Aviation Administration approvals for the aircraft flying during the Air Force Memorial dedication ceremony and Air Force open house Oct. 14. Sergeant Gamble works in airfield management with the 316th Operations Support Squadron at Andrews AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry A. Simmons)

WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- When a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity came around the corner, Staff Sgt. Ashanta Gamble jumped to do her part for the Air Force.

Coordinating the Pentagon and Federal Aviation Administration approvals for the aircraft flying during the Air Force Memorial Dedication ceremony and Air Force Open House Oct. 14 was not on her original to-do list when this airfield operator retrained in 2004 to become a member of the 316th Operation Support Squadron at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

"This is history. I thought, 'Any part I can play in it, I would love to do,'" said the sergeant who didn't feel prepared for college when she joined the Air Force six years ago.

Sergeant Gamble normally spends her duty day inspecting the Andrews AFB airfield and pavement conditions to keep aircraft safe, and coordinating aircraft arrivals and departures for military aircraft and visiting foreign dignitaries' aircraft.

"I feel my job truly has a direct effect on the mission. If I was doing my job incorrectly, we couldn't support the president on a daily basis," Sergeant Gamble said.

Once this weekend is completed, Sergeant Gamble said she looks forward to refocusing her efforts on getting her nursing degree and studying for promotion.

"I always had this need to give my all," said the sergeant who learned to take on challenges ever since her first assignment as an information manager at Tinker AFB, Okla., which is not too far from her hometown of Lawton.

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