167th Airlift Wing Airman Spotlight January 2023

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle
  • 167th Airlift Wing

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Samantha Kesecker is a cyber surety craftsman for the 167th Operations Group and the 167th Airlift Wing Airman Spotlight for January 2023. 

As a cyber surety craftsman, Kesecker ensures communications security, specifically for aircrew equipment and provides information technology support to the 167th OG. She manages classified materials and provides training to aircrew on the proper use of that information onboard the C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. Additionally, she conducts cybersecurity risk management framework assessments, ensures enterprise cybersecurity policies fully support all legal and regulatory requirements and ensures cybersecurity policies are applied in new and existing information security resources.  

“Master Sgt. Sam Kesecker's drive, work ethic, and ability to handle challenging situations with ease, are what set her apart,” said Lt. Col James Holsinger, 167th Operations Support Squadron commander. “While her day-to-day cyber defense operations duties are to serve as a communications professional, she also manages readiness reporting for the unit, overseas the Electronic Flight Bag Program for the operations group, and frequently provides IT-related support. Her ability to juggle her many AFSC-specific duties on top of her additional duties is beyond commendable, especially as she is a single Airman shop during the normal work week.” 

Hometown: Winchester, VA 

Job Title: Cyber Surety Craftsman 

How long have you served in the unit? About 16 years. I started in Aircraft Maintenance and in 2015 I was fortunate to have the opportunity to cross train into a newly formed, temporary Cyber Surety position in the Operations Support Squadron. I left for a year to work at Hill AFB, UT as a flight line Crew Chief on F-35s but returned to the 167th to continue in the full-time Cyber Surety position to rebuild our Communications Security program and provide IT assistance in the Operations Group.  

How does your job support the 167th's mission? I support the mission by providing aircrews with secure communications capabilities required for mission accomplished in our Areas of Responsibility. I also manage the AMC account for the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) which expedites publication and checklist access for the aircrew members, and I provide overall IT support throughout the Operations Group. 

Civilian job: N/A – AGR 

Education: A.S. Information Technology, A.S. Aircraft Maintenance Technology, IT Certifications: CompTIA Network+, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Security+, EC Council Certified Incident Handler, ISC2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner, and ISC2 Certified Cloud Security Professional.  

Hobbies: Hiking, baking, home projects/DIY home upgrades, and archery. Exercise is also an important aspect of my everyday life. I have been fortunate enough to incorporate this in my work environment by participating in and guiding CrossFit style workouts within the Operations Group. To overcome the loss of one of our members, we started working out together to help us process our loss and strengthen our core support system, and we continue to come together as a group to this day. 

Goals (military and/or civilian): In the short term, my goal is to finish the last four classes required to receive my B.S. in Cyber Security & information Assurance. Past that, I would like to progress as much as possible in my military career and participate more in overseas missions/exercises.  

I am proudest of: The hard work I have put in to continuing education and earning certifications to enhance my career/life and doing my best to help everyone who asks. 

People may be surprised to know this about me: I enjoy learning how to fix things and how to accomplish home projects myself because I want to be more self-sufficient in certain areas. The next big project is to build kitchen cabinets. I’m thankful for everyone who has taught me over the years; I still have a lot to learn. 

One/Some of the most valuable lessons I've learned throughout my career: Having patience with people and processes really goes a long way. 

My advice to the newest Airmen in the Wing: Listen more than you speak. 

The best thing about working with my team is: Everyone I work closely with really cares and are genuinely fun to be around. We have a great group of people who work out together in the morning and doing that with them is something I always look forward to, even when I know the workout is going to be rough.