Mighty Ninety Airman returns from U.S. Southern Command deployment

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Mike Tryon
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
Because of the unique mission of the 90th Missile Wing, many Airmen assigned here deploy-in-place, which means they stay in the local area instead of deploying to combat environments.

However, there are other missions Warren Airmen contribute to. For instance, one Warren Airman recently returned from a 150-day deployment to Bogotá, Columbia, where he aided in U.S. Southern Command's mission, which includes counter-terrorism and counter-trafficking.

During his deployment, Master Sgt. Fernando Magri, 90th Missile Wing command section superintendent, acted as the country clearance manager -- a position responsible for allowing and accounting for all Department of Defense personnel in country.

"I worked with foreign-service nationals, embassy personnel and the Columbian military to ensure our people had the proper credentials allowing them to be in Columbia, and I tracked them accordingly," Magri said.

While in that role, Magri said he utilized his bilingual skills.

"I acted as the translator during a meeting between the USSOUTHCOM senior enlisted leader and the Columbian army senior enlisted leader," Magri said.

While the missions of Air Force Global Strike Command and USSOUTHCOM differ, they have a common theme -- deterrence, Magri added.

"Here, we focus on nuclear surety and providing a global deterrent," Magri said. "As part of the USSOUTHCOM team, I helped in their focus of counter-terrorism and counter-trafficking. Both missions are important in deterring people from making poor decisions."

Magri said while he learned many things from his deployment, the biggest lesson he learned was effective time management -- a lesson he will take with him throughout the rest of his career.

"There were at least 150 new [country clearance] requests daily that I had to process, and only a limited time to do them in," Magri said. "But using effective time management, I was really able to compartmentalize my tasks and focus on them; honing my [time] management skills, making myself more efficient and better at prioritizing my time."

While Magri has a Columbian heritage, he said that was not a factor in his selection for this TDY.

"I was chosen because my records reflect I speak Spanish," Magri said.
Magri recommends those with foreign language skills volunteer for deployments or temporary duty assignments such as the one he just returned from.