SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -
In the fast-paced world of 2016, finding balance within a schedule has become a challenge. Balancing time, family, work, social life and school are just a few of the factors airmen face on a daily basis. In the Reserve, finding that balance with a full-time job while also meeting military requirements can be incredibly challenging.
Senior Airman Christian Ramos took on that challenge willingly, thankful for the opportunities the Air Force Reserve made available to him. He has been able to finish school and gain vital skills and experience, all while being able to serve from his hometown.
“I have always considered myself a bit of a computer nerd,” said Ramos. “When I heard about an opportunity to serve my country while working in a career field that I am passionate about, I jumped on it in a heartbeat.”
Ramos works as a Conjunction Assessment analyst for the 9th Space Operations Squadron at Vandenberg AFB, California, one of the 18 units that makes up the 310th Space Wing. Conjunction assessment is the process performed to mitigate the risk of an operational satellite crashing with a catalogued objects. These objects are different types of debris that are currently being tracked by the Air Force Space Surveillance Network via multiple sensor sites.
“We accomplish this by screening launch trajectories against our space catalogue to determine go/no-go times for launch,” said Ramos. “Our team services the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and various owners and operators based all around the globe.”
Ramos performs the same type of work throughout the week at a civilian capacity as a NASA Goddard Orbital Safety Analyst. His job there is to protect NASA spacecraft from collisions with other on-orbit space objects, including spacecraft and space debris.
“We implement software to perform analysis of close approaches so that we can calculate the risk and assist NASA flight programs in deciding how and whether (or not) to mitigate the risk, usually with a maneuver,” explained Ramos. “We can say, ‘We suggest that you move your spacecraft,’ but only the flight project can make the final decision to move the spacecraft. It’s conceptually similar to what I do as a CA analyst when I am working in uniform, but instead of servicing DOD satellites, I help protect NASA missions.”
While his job keeps him plenty busy, Ramos still finds time to pursue other passions, from athletic events to volunteering at the local animal shelter.
“I would hardly call myself an athlete,” said Ramos, “but the past few years I’ve really gotten into participating in obstacle runs with my friends. I usually try to get in a Tough Mudder or a Spartan race a couple times a year. It’s a fun way for me to stay in shape for my PT tests come drill weekend.”
Ramos’ friend, Christoph Ganos, nominated him for the 310th SW Warrior Spotlight, attesting to his achievements as both an Airman and lover of animals.
“He volunteers literally hundreds of hours every year at the local Santa Barbara County animal shelter,” said Ganos. “All while going to school, being an Airman and working a full-time job as an orbital analyst.”
“Growing up in Los Angeles, seeing poor little stray dogs was commonplace for me,” said Ramos. “I guess I just got fed up seeing dogs like that suffer and not being able to do anything about it. Any chance I get when I’m not at work, in uniform, or doing homework for school, I head to the county shelter and take dogs out for walks or help set up living accommodations for incoming strays.”
With balance being a struggle for most individuals in today’s fast paced environment, Ramos sheds some light on what works best for him on a day-to-day basis.
“Mental fortitude is a must for any successful Reservist,” said Ramos. “Balancing working full time and our military obligations can be incredibly demanding, both physically and mentally. I take solace in knowing that I get to contribute to an incredibly important mission while also getting to learn from and work with some of the best folks in the 310th Space Wing.”