OKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Four seas, two hemispheres and nearly eight-thousand miles separate Tokyo, Japan from Canberra, Australia.
Canberra, is home to the 337th Air Support Flight, a tenant unit part of the 374th Airlift Wing on Yokota Air Base and Tech Sgt. Amanda Osborne, 337th ASUF flight chief.
After arriving in Australia in January 2019, Osborne continuously pursued excellence within her unit and surrounding community. Her dedication to strive for excellence led to her being selected as Executive Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force.
Upon her arrival to a geographically separated unit, Osborne realized an opportunity where she could truly help others and excel simultaneously.
“I came out here for finance, that’s my career field, financial management,” said Osborne. “But finance is a small portion of what we actually do out here, our mission is so much bigger.”
Not only is Osborne a financial management Airman overseeing funds for over 40 different agencies across Australia, but she also acted as the liaison for the Department of Defense Education Activity, Non-DoD School Program. Ensuring children of service members were provided educational options within the country’s education system. Furthermore, she was a Tricare liaison, and an additional First Sergeant.
“I think one of the biggest challenges of all is that we are not on a base so we have to find creative ways to make things work,” said Osborne. “I think that is why we do as much as we do, always stepping out of our comfort zone, doing something different and learning something new every day.”
During her time at the 337th ASUF, Osborne created a monthly virtual meet-and-greet for DoD families and spouses in Australia. Her efforts resulted in an environment for her local community members to stay connect to each other and with the Yokota community, reminding them they have support despite COVID-19 restrictions.
Her time at the 337th ASUF transformed her as an Airman and NCO teaching her to embrace challenges and never become complacent.
“I’ve always liked learning the next level, I’ve always been interested in wanting to know more than the bare minimum,” she said. “At first, I wanted to be an enlisted aid, but a couple of mentors reached out to me and took it a step further suggesting a different position.”
Her commander at the time felt with her dedication and drive for excellence she would be a good match for an upcoming opportunity to excel at the next level, and recommended she create a package to apply for the position of Executive Assistant for the Secretary of the Air Force. After submitting her application Tech Sgt. Osborne was selected to serve in the position in January 2022.
“I think that having the support, having that encouragement gave me the vote of confidence to say, ‘Yeah! I am a good match for this higher position of responsibility.’” said Osborne, “I always try to find that moment and reason to believe that what I’m doing is important for the greater mission.”