BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, LA, UNITED STATES
Story by Airman 1st Class William Pugh
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, Louisiana —
Senior Airman Karla Alejandra Mata, 2nd Force Support Squadron food services specialist deployed to the 776th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps achievement medal for her outstanding efforts while deployed to Chabelley Airfield, Djibouti.
Mata received the award for her selfless response to a critically low staff situation developing at the Camp Lemonnier galley.
She volunteered, spending two weeks working 12 hour shifts, supporting the mission by providing food for service members.
“I work in the dining facility stateside so this is what I do every day,” said Mata. “Most of the volunteers had zero food experience prior to working here, and it’s truly incredible to see the impact we can create when we all come together. I’m happy I had the opportunity to work alongside other branches.”
While deployed, Mata’s paramount role in the Air Force mission is to provide support services for the nation’s warfighters including lodging, providing meals and preparing living spaces.
Airmen that have worked with or know Mata have taken notice of her dedication to duty.
“Those who know Airman Mata personally know of her work ethic and how much she cares about her people,” said Staff Sgt. Zen Fulton, close friend and non-commissioned officer in charge of operations and international law at Osan Air Force Base.
2nd FSS leadership were impressed by Mata’s contributions.
“We could not be prouder of Senior Airman Mata and the work she has done while deployed”, said Chief Master Sgt. Tiffany Bettisworth, 2nd Force Support Squadron superintendent. “We’re looking forward to welcoming her back to the squadron so that we can express our gratitude to her in person.”