Face of Defense: Intel Analyst Keeps Mobility Pilots Safe Home, Abroad


Every day, Air Force Senior Airman Brittany Fuentes is tasked with the responsibility of collecting and providing vital information that could impact the outcome of mobility missions worldwide.

Fuentes is a collection requirements manager assigned to Air Mobility Command’s Air Intelligence Squadron here. On a daily basis Fuentes provides answers to 104 AMC intelligence sections around the world when they have a request for information.

“Fuentes is outside her analyst role right now,” said Ric Salas, AMC collection management team chief.

“She is assuming the role of a technical sergeant and doing it well," Salas said. "Most analysts are assigned to one geographic combatant command. Fuentes is in charge of monitoring or being the subject matter expert on all the geographic combatant commands. All the analysts come to our section to request information for mobility missions globally and she has to find the answers.”

During her time at AMC, Fuentes has also managed the weapons and tactics team’s threat assessment process where she served as a SME on weapons systems that have the potential to damage AMC aircraft. In 2016, she analyzed 116 enemy attacks in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Her expertise helped the Air Force identify enemy tactics and safeguard more than 69,000 mobility aircraft sorties.

No Mission Too Small

“There’s not a mission [at AMC] we don’t support,” she said. “Before pilots take off, we provide the best overall picture of what they can expect during their mission. I think [analysts] have a very important role of keeping our pilots safe.”

The responsibilities that come with her job stateside are very similar to what an analyst would be doing when deployed, or so she thought.

Fuentes said she had only been in the Air Force two years when she was tasked to deploy to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Then two months into her deployment, on July 15, 2016, a coup took place in Turkey.

Fuentes was tasked as the lead analyst for the first 48 hours of what would turn into an 8-day airfield closure.

“My experience [at AMC] prepared me for the mission,” she said. “Deploying from headquarters [AMC] I knew who I needed to contact. When the coup happened, it was important we gave our analysts in the states a daily status update on what was happening. We ended up having to divert aircraft, but if we had not been there to deliver information, it could have had a different outcome.”

During the short time Fuentes was lead analyst, she crafted 23 time-sensitive intelligence reports and provided the pre-mission brief to the first C-17 departure, initiating the safe evacuation of more than 700 dependents.

Continued Leadership

When the coup was over she continued to lead her team through 30 days of increased force protection conditions. Her team provided 28 intelligence briefings, ensuring wing and subordinate squadrons were prepared for potential threats.

“In my short three years of being in the Air Force, this was the first time I got to witness a unit coming together during a crisis situation,” she said. “In headquarters we are supporting units from the outside in. When you deploy you are working from the inside out. The deployment provided a lot of perspective about how intelligence can impact the mission and how much AMC means downrange.”

Fuentes worked with Army and Marine Corps intelligence specialists during her deployment to discuss what Air Force resources were available and vice versa. She said not only did she gain insight on her joint partners’ processes, the experience motivated her to pursue a new degree path -- computer networking and cyber security.

“When I entered the intelligence career field, I recognized the need and potential for cyber communications experts,” said Fuentes, a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico. “I love that this area is so new. In the future I want to work in the same career field but in a position that molds intelligence and cyber together because I love my job and supporting my team.

It is nice when you have people who are supporting you. I wouldn’t be where I am without them. It’s all about the people you work with that make the job worthwhile. If you love your job, that’s a bonus.”

Fuentes is one of the Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year. She will represent Air Mobility Command at the Air Force Association convention in Washington in September 2017.