MacDill Airman takes advantage of special duty

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Melanie Bulow-Gonterman
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
Over the past three and a half years Tech. Sgt. Veronica Gatta, direct support communications team chief at the Joint Communication Support Element, has gained a plethora of job knowledge, met unwavering leaders, and most distinctively, has taken advantage of one of the many things that makes JCSE different--she earned her jump wings.

"I was intrigued by the tradition, challenge and unique opportunity to become airborne qualified," said Gatta. "This has been the milestone of my career thus far."

Becoming airborne is voluntary and a position that is not readily available to Air Force communicators.

Gatta, a Saugerties, N.Y. native, joined the Air Force in February 2000 as a secure communications apprentice which later merged to cyber-transport. During her tenure, she has supported Operation Enduring Freedom and recently returned from a maritime deployment installing and operating command and control (C2) communications aboard a vessel since her time at JCSE.

Gatta applied for the four-year special duty at JCSE to do something out of the ordinary. This type of joint assignment is Gatta's first in her career and has provided an extremely rare and motivating experience.

"The camaraderie and experiences of a joint environment have been the height of my career," said Gatta. "JCSE provides a full spectrum of technical and tactical training, outside the Air Force norms, along with exposure to great joint leaders and mentors pushing you in every direction to become a better service member."

According to Gatta, JCSE participates in airborne exercises worldwide and leads the way in innovative communications and technology. They jump from various aircraft in small communication packages that provide task force commanders secure voice and data communications on the drop zone within minutes of hitting the ground.

"For anyone who views their job as mundane, seek out all the opportunities (not only the ones within your service) available to you," advised Gatta, also noting that there are more options available than just cross training.

"You never know what opportunities are out there unless you seek them. Don't lose out because you didn't try," stated Gatta. "Have goals, shoot for them, and work hard to reach them."