Sergeant filling prescriptions on Air Force birthday Published Sept. 18, 2006 By Louis A. Arana-Barradas Air Force Print News SAN ANTONIO (AFPN) -- Tech. Sgt. Brenda Martinez-Lashley will be filling prescriptions instead of eating cake, ice cream and punch on the Air Force's 59th birthday. Like for the past 15 years, she and other Airmen around the world will report to work to fight or support the ongoing war on terrorism. This war -- like all the ones before -- is taking Airmen to dangerous, far-flung locations to do their jobs. Some of those jobs they had never done before. Others at stateside bases provide the people and support needed to carry on that war. Sergeant Martinez-Lashley, a pharmacy craftsman, is the NCO in charge of pharmacy services with the 31st Medical Support Squadron at Aviano Air Base, Italy. She has a key job at the base in the northern Italian Friuli Venezia Giulia region. "I'll be on duty supporting helping maintain a healthy fighting force," the 13-year veteran said. The Air Force may be a year older, but it is doing more today, with a smaller force, than it did even five years ago. Since becoming a separate service in 1947, the Air Force has increased its capabilities and its global reach now stretches into space. Today, the Air Force and its sister services are busy achieving what Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne called spherical situational awareness. This allows the U.S. military to take "a comprehensive, spherical view -- at once vertical, horizontal, real time and predictive, penetrating and defended in the cyber realm." But in a message to the force, Secretary Wynne and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley said the Air Force is the globe's dominant force in air, space and cyberspace because of its Airmen. "Our knowledge-enabled Airmen have revolutionized the way our nation defends itself and its allies across the full spectrum of threats," they said. Yet the threats of terror attacks on the nation are still a reality. That makes the Air Force's role even more important. That reality is not lost on the sergeant from San Antonio. "The Air Force is still important to the United States because of its advances in technology and its ability to attack enemies anytime, anywhere," Sergeant Martinez-Lashley said. As Airmen continue to do their duty today, there are even more changes taking place. And each day new technology and smart processes make doing Air Force business smarter and more efficient. It is hard to predict where the service will be in five years. But that is clear to the sergeant. "We'll be working more with the Army to meet our mission of protecting our freedom and way of life," Sergeant Martinez-Lashley said.