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Savannah Airman takes on Italy

Senior Airman Drew Roberts works on landing gear of a 165th Airlift Wing C-130H3 Hercules during Operation Mangusta in Pisa, Italy. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Brandon Patterson)

Senior Airman Drew Roberts works on landing gear of a 165th Airlift Wing C-130H3 Hercules during Operation Mangusta in Pisa, Italy. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Brandon Patterson)

Senior Airman Drew Roberts works on a 165th Airlift Wing C-130H3 Hercules during Operation Mangusta in Pisa, Italy. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Brandon Patterson)

Senior Airman Drew Roberts works on a 165th Airlift Wing C-130H3 Hercules during Operation Mangusta in Pisa, Italy. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Brandon Patterson)

Senior Airman Drew Roberts prepares to marshall a 165th Airlift Wing C-130H3 Hercules during Operation Mangusta in Pisa, Italy. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Brandon Patterson)

Senior Airman Drew Roberts prepares to marshall a 165th Airlift Wing C-130H3 Hercules during Operation Mangusta in Pisa, Italy. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Brandon Patterson)

Senior Airman Drew Roberts prepares to marshall a 165th Airlift Wing C-130H3 Hercules during Operation Mangusta in Pisa, Italy. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Brandon Patterson)

Senior Airman Drew Roberts prepares to marshall a 165th Airlift Wing C-130H3 Hercules during Operation Mangusta in Pisa, Italy. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Brandon Patterson)

PISA, Italy --

“From a young age, I’ve been fascinated by and have had a love for airplanes and flying,” said Senior Airman Drew Roberts. “When I graduated from high school I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but one day I drove past the flight line on base and thought it would be cool to serve in the military. As a result, I pursued joining and learning more about the job opportunities in the Georgia Air National Guard.”

 

Senior Airman Drew Roberts, a flight line crew chief with the 165th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, has been in the Air Guard for three years. In November, he was sent to Pisa, Italy, along with 32 other Airmen from the 165th Airlift Wing for a temporary duty. For Drew, this was not only his first time to Italy, but also his first time traveling abroad.

 

“I was very excited for the opportunity to go on this TDY,” said Roberts. “Most of all, I wanted the to experience the Italian culture and to meet new people. I was born in the Mobile, Ala. and raised in Savannah, Georgia, so I have only lived in the south. Getting to know about other cultures is important to me.” 

 

If pizza can be considered culture, Drew definitely experienced plenty of that. His coworkers jokingly say they didn’t see Drew without pizza in his hand the entire TDY.

 

“I like people, and I like helping people,” said Roberts. “On the civilian side, I work in retail, and customer service is the main aspect of the job. I plan to finish my bachelors degree and hope to become a pilot in the GA ANG. My military experience has helped me to better organize my priorities and to hone my leadership skills, which has been an asset in all areas of my life.” 

 

 In spite of carrying a slender build, Drew has commanding and infectious presence in any room. When he interacts with his coworkers, it’s apparent he seeks to understand, and he truly cares and is interested in them.

 

“I’m fortunate, I have a lot of great mentors around me in the Air Guard,” said Roberts. “Even though I have great supervisors, I wouldn’t say that I have just one mentor. I try to learn from all those around me, and I try to absorb the good aspects of their character and leadership.”

 

Being in the Air Guard has given Drew opportunities that he might not have experienced otherwise. 

 

“What I liked most about the Air Guard is that I was able to choose what job I wanted and that was working with airplanes, and I was able to choose where I wanted to live,” said Roberts. For those considering joining, I’d say weigh your options. My experience so far has been a very good one. I work with some awesome people who have excellent work ethic, and I’m learning so much about leadership. I look forward future opportunities to serve and to deploy.”