Grand Forks airman named Air Force security forces member of the year

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Raisa Christie
  • 319th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

Is there anything that Senior Airman Moejha Calmes can’t do?

Calmes works in the 319th Security Forces Squadron as a command support staff scheduler whose main task is to focus on personnel and administrative duties.

Over the past year, she found innovative ways to advance the squadron’s readiness programs by creating a new weapon qualification tracking system, leading a joint field training exercise, and ensuring new airmen have proper training and support.

Due to her unrivaled dedication to the unit, she was named the 2022 Air Force Outstanding Security Forces Support Staff Airman of the Year.

The Air Force-level award recognizes individuals who make extraordinary contributions to the entire U.S. Air Force, the security forces enterprise, and the unique missions at their respective duty stations. Defender awards are granted to units, individuals and their installations.

“Calmes is always looking for a way to advance systems in our workplace,” said Senior MSgt. Mark Apuzzo, a flight chief within the 319th SFS. “It’s her personality to want to help others succeed. That’s why she’s a successful airman being recognized at the Air Force level.”

Calmes noticed there was room for improvement within the unit's training program and took her idea to the North Spark Defense Laboratory, an innovation cell on Grand Forks Air Force Base, to create a new weapon qualifying tracking system. With the improved electronic tracking system, she helped save 80 hours of labor per month by transferring data collection and processing to an internet database.

Her dedication goes beyond just the 319th SFS; she finds ways to help airmen and community partners outside her unit.

“Calmes took the initiative to lead a partnership field exercise between the 319th Mission Support Group and local Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps students,” Apuzzo said. “Her training contributed to the achievement of leadership requirements for the ROTC students.”

Calmes said she also prioritizes helping new airmen gain a sense of belonging by answering questions and ensuring they know people care for their well-being both in and out of uniform.

“Some of the younger troops have never experienced living away from home before,” Calmes said. “I know what it’s like to be young and live on my own. I don’t want them to feel that they don’t have anyone who cares. That’s really what motivates me to support each of them.”

While working to constantly improve her squadron, Calmes also works diligently on her own personal and professional development.

“She has an excellent work-life balance,” said Master Sgt. Brandon McKinney, a flight chief with the 319th SFS. “While on duty, Calmes’ professionalism and leadership is paramount to our squadron. Outside of work, she networks and is involved with the local community.”

Calmes’ determination and keen time management help her to focus on the mission while also allowing time to pursue interests such as playing basketball and designing ‘90s inspired fashion.

“I am very driven to accomplish both my personal and professional goals,” Calmes said. “I have a great support system that I can lean on.”

Calmes encourages other airmen to identify their goals and continuously work towards achieving them.