BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, LA (KSLA) - “Whenever I see one (U.S. Air Force bomber) in the sky I stop, I have chills," Senior Airman Miranda Bowen said. "It’s so funny because we deal with them every day.
"I don’t know, I just get so excited. I think, Dang, this is a huge piece I am here contributing to. This, it’s so much larger than I ever imagined something I would be a part of.”
The sight of Air Force aircraft in the air over Shreveport-Bossier City is a little more special for those who work to support their missions, especially for those who work behind the scene. Their work doesn’t go unnoticed.
Bowen has been recognized for her passion and care both in and out of uniform.
“Both my dad and my sister had joined,and I wanted to kind of follow in their footsteps they’re huge influences in my life.”
While she’s no stranger to military life, in just three short years, Bowen already is making waves in her position within the Air Operations Center.
“I do ATO production. So I produce an ATO, which is an Air Tasking Order. Essentially, it’s a flying plan for all of the different bomber platforms, both training and real -world missions.”
“Airman Bowen really set her self apart from that exceptional group because of her ability to handle large amounts of information and to be able to clearly and concisely convey that on through the Air Tasking Order through all the operations that we need to be able to do,” said Col. Beth Makros, commander of the 608th Air Operations Center.
The Air Force also has given Bowen an outlet to fuel her passion for helping others.
“She is a true leader,” Makros continued. “Even at the youngest age among her peers and her superiors, she really has been able to advocate for some things that you might not expect from someone of her age.”
Bowen dedicates countless hours to raising awareness for suicide prevention.
It’s an issue close to her heart after losing her twin sister.
“That’s a huge problem within the Air Force, it’s a huge problem in the world and I care very greatly about it,” said Bowen. “People have to know that you’re there. And I’m there, I’ll always be there.”
Last year, she coordinated Barksdale’s Out of the Darkness Walk, encouraging others to speak up when it comes to mental health.
Bowen’s continued efforts in and out of uniform earned her the title of Combined 8th Air Force and Joint Global Strike Command Airman of the Year.
“I feel I work really hard and try to be the best leader I can be and try to perform well at my job. And it’s just amazing to be recognized.”