167th Airlift Wing Airman Spotlight November 2023

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  • 167th Airlift Wing

Staff Sgt. Nanishka Quiles-Perez is a hazardous materials specialist in materiel management for the 167th Logistics Readiness Squadron and she is the Airman Spotlight for November 2023.

As a materiel management specialist, she is responsible for managing, administering and operating supply systems and activities, specifically for HAZMAT items needed at the wing to carry out the mission. An incredibly detailed and critical job, she ensures every asset is accounted for and where it needs to be whenever Airmen need them.

Her supervisor, Master Sgt. Lewis Staubs, noted her outstanding dedication, versatility, and commitment to service.

“As a Hazmat Specialist in Materiel Management, she has demonstrated an exceptional proficiency in her duties and willingness to go beyond,” said Staubs. “This year, she was one of the first to volunteer for the COOP IX event and later was selected to bilingually narrate the ceremony announcing the trilateral agreement between the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern), the Peruvian Air Force, and the West Virginia National Guard. As if these accomplishments weren’t enough, she balances her DSG duties with pursuing a master’s degree, performing State Active Duty with the Department of Corrections, and actively participating in ROTC. I’m proud to serve alongside Guardsmen like Staff Sgt. Quiles Perez.”

Hometown: York, PA, currently live Morgantown, WV, born in San Juan, PR

Job Title: Materiel Management/ HAZMART

How long have you served in the unit? 5 years as of March 8, 2023

How does your job support the 167th’s mission?  I currently work in HAZMART, responsible for the tracking, receiving, and issuing out hazardous materials. We have a system that we use to track all the materials we have within the pharmacy, anything from paint, oil, grease, sealant, etc. All these items are essential for maintenance and other shops within the base. These hazardous items help these shops complete their required daily activities and maintain base readiness. Lastly, the most important part is we dispose of the hazardous material in a safe way.

Civilian job: I am currently on State Active-Duty orders aiding the West Virginia Corrections Division. I work at North Central Regional Jail (NCRJ).

Education: High School Diploma, bachelor’s degree in criminology with a minor in Forensics from WVU, currently perusing my Master’s in criminal justice at Fairmont State University.

Hobbies: I like kayaking, white-water rafting, hiking, working out, watching crime documentaries/shows. I also like baking.

Goals: To become financially stable and comfortable enough to be able to buy a house for my grandma and uncles in Puerto Rico and one for my mom and little sister. I want to graduate with my master’s degree. I want to travel and see as many countries as possible. Militarily, my main goal at the moment is to be able to commission through Air Force ROTC at WVU in May 2024 and go active duty as an officer. I want to do 20 years in minimum and then retire from the Air Force. I want to finish my military service back in the Guard whether it will be before or after the 20-year mark in my career. I want to potentially start a second career working for the FBI, another federal agency, or a police department as a detective or crime scene investigator.

I am proudest of: How far I’ve come and how resilient I have been through my life overall. I have been pursuing commissioning for about 7 years. I had to drop out of college and pay some loans before I could go back and work on getting my degree again; that took me about 5 years. I am proud to be part of the world’s greatest Air Force and to show women and minorities that we can make it too. I am proud of all the opportunities I have been able to experience and all the goals I’ve accomplished so far.

People may be surprised to know this about me: Out of all the service members within my family, I am the only one in the Air Force. My grandfather, served in the Puerto Rico Army National Guard with, his brother and my uncles. I have four cousins in the Army. 

The most exciting thing I’ve done in the military is: Experiencing my first ever Hawaiian Luau with my coworkers or climbing Koko Crater Railway Trail in Hawaii while on annual training. Also, going to Peru as a translator for exercise Cooperacion IX and meeting military members from many different countries.  Also, narrating the ceremony between the 167th Airlift Wing, 12th Air Force and the Peruvian Air Force for the trilateral signing agreement.

One/Some of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned throughout my career: Thanks to the opportunities provided to me, I had the opportunity to work with the Army and see how they operate. Treat all members of the armed forces with dignity and respect, not one is better than the other and we all need to work in conjunction. All different aspects, Guard, Reserve, Active Duty have their different duties but at the end of the day, we all need one another. It does not matter how many times life knocks you down, what does matter is that you get up and keep fighting. Don’t be afraid of failing, failure is okay. There are no successes without failure.

My advice to the newest Airmen in the Wing: Take advantage of all the opportunities given to you, volunteer for everything, get your name known by your leadership. You will meet great people, develop bonds that will last a lifetime and create a second family. You will be challenged and developed mentally, professionally.

The best thing about working with my team is: The close knit family that I gain from being at the unit. The sense of belonging and acceptance, the friendliness and understanding from my NCOs, SNCOs, and Officers. Everyone is willing to help and give a hand to anyone in need whether it is within the unit, shop or personal life. I have been lucky with my supervisors, they showed me that they care for their Airmen, me and others, and they push them to develop further in their personal life and career. My supervisors have been nothing short of supportive on everything I do, they are the reason I have had the chance to take on all these opportunities
Lastly, they always make sure that people know they are appreciated for their hard work.