Fairchild Airman one percent within one percent
By Senior Airman Mackenzie Richardson, 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 21, 2016
FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --
Monday through Friday he can be found at the 92nd Air Refueling Squadron creating flight orders, auditing and assigning aircrews to Fairchild refueling missions as a Squadron Aviation Resource Management Airman.
When he isn’t contributing to the Air Force's global reach-enabling air refueling mission, Senior Airman Ricardo Longarini can be found on the soccer field coaching a base youth soccer team or working on his car.
Hailing from Hershey, Pennsylvania, Longarini always believed joining the military was the path for him. After a long line of Army soldiers and a nudge from his mother, he joined the Air Force in September 2013.
“I originally joined to earn money for college and the opportunity to travel,” Longarini said. “Since 2013, I have been all over the United States and have spent time in Italy, England, Qatar and Turkey.”
Three years, three deployments and countless temporary duty assignments later, Longarini has earned much more than the opportunity to attend college.
Only one percent of Americans serve in the Armed Forces, and Longarini was recently recognized as the top one percent of 100 of his peers in Air Mobility Command as the 2016 AMC SARM Airman of the Year.
As an aviation resource manager with the 92nd ARS SARM, Longarini processes flight orders for numerous flights throughout the day. He conducts quality control checks on aircrew forms, reviews aircrew qualifications, ensures medical and deployment readiness is up-to-date and schedules crews for Fairchild refueling missions.
“Every Airman plays a role, no matter how big or small,” said Senior Master Sgt. Michael Rodriguez, 92nd ARS superintendent. “We may wear flight suits and go outside the fence, but we can’t do it without each and every Airman; and Ricardo is a huge part of accomplishing the 92nd ARS mission.”
Longarini has also been named the 92nd Operations Group Airman of the Year, has won numerous quarterly awards and was awarded the Air Force Achievement Medal for his efforts in establishing the 22nd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, in 2015.
“I was fortunate enough to work with Ricardo at Incirlik, and as a young SARM he did a phenomenal job,” Rodriguez said. “To help open the 22nd EARS from the ground up goes to show who Ricardo is as a human and Airman. He takes pride in his work, enjoys what he does and is a true pleasure to work with.”
Longarini often refers to his time at Incirlik as the best in his career. Working 14-hour days and processing nearly 30 sorties daily for more than four months straight molded some of his best memories. Incirlik introduced Longarini to new friends, a unique job experience and a deployment he’ll never forget.
Although he has only three years left in his enlistment, Longarini said he doesn’t see himself separating from the Air Force anytime soon. With guidance from his supervision and mentors, he has contemplated commissioning through a Reserve Officer Training Corps program, or cross training into a medical career, a field Longarini has admired since childhood.
“Most of my family has worked in medicine including my father, who has been a doctor for nearly 40 years,” Longarini said. “I have always looked up to him because of his passion and love for helping people. I want to be able to give back, and I believe medicine is one of the best ways to do that.”
Whether Longarini follows in his father’s footsteps or to earns a commission, he has an unlimited amount of opportunities at his fingertips. With an entire career ahead of him and guidance from his supervision, he plans to excel in every opportunity that presents itself.