Tinian High School alumnus talks about his life in the Air Force

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TINIAN — Romeo Kedar Malicdem Shrestha shared many details of his riveting time with the United States Air Force since graduating from Tinian Jr./Sr. High School.

Romeo Shrestha

Shrestha graduated with the Class of 2018, placing 6th in the Top 10. He heavily devoted his time to both the mock trial competition and JROTC, finishing his senior year as the mock trial team captain and JROTC cadet captain.

His Basic Military Training took place in Lackland AFB, Texas.

“It was about learning the structure of the military, especially the Air Force and the importance of ‘attention to detail.’ A single mistake could get people hurt or killed,” Shrestha said.

Shrestha graduated from BMT on Sept. 28, 2018 as part of Flight 671 in the 323rd Training Squadron. Shrestha then completed several other courses that were significant to his training.

First up was Aircrew Fundamentals at the 344th Training Squadron in Lackland. It was about flight and general aircraft safety and systems. He completed it on Oct. 25, 2018.

Next, Shrestha went through a Basic Loadmaster Course at 344 in Lackland. The course roughly covered the general operations for three aircraft types: C-130, C-17, and the C-5. Moreover, Shrestha learned about the types of missions, types of cargo and how to load them, how to deal with passengers, and the equations for calculating the center of balance so the aircraft will fly safely as opposed to falling tail or nose-first. Upon completing the course on Nov. 30, 2018, Shrestha was assigned to the C-5 at Travis AFB.

After that was the C-5 Loadmaster Initial Qualification at the 733rd Training Squadron in Lackland. This went further in-depth with a specific aircraft, the C-5M Super Galaxy. Shrestha learned all the inside-outs, from its systems, operation procedures, limitations, to the emergency procedures. He finished this course on Feb. 28, 2019.

Next was SERE training with the 336th Training Group at Fairchild AFB, Washington. SERE stands for Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape.

This course taught the methods of dealing with landing in unfriendly territory. Shrestha said this type of training consisted of “navigating the land, foraging for food, blending in, avoiding the enemy, enduring torture, making sound decisions at gunpoint, breaking out of locks and cells, etc.” He completed this course on May 4, 2019.

Shrestha is currently stationed at Travis AFB, California as part of the 22nd Airlift Squadron.

He has three pieces of advice for the cadets of the Tinian JROTC Stallion Battalion:

1) Prioritize math and science and above all, communication skills.

2) Make more friendly connections. They tend to be more helpful than enemies.

3) Treat yourself.

For the entire month of Oct. 2019, Shrestha loaded a significant amount of Army equipment for transport. He also helped transport humanitarian donations to the Civil Association of Volunteer Firefighters in Nicaragua onto a C-5 cargo plane and shook hands with the ambassador.

What a tremendous load of work that you’ve done, Romeo! The Stallion cadets hope to hear more of you and your achievements in the years to come. Keep moving forward and flying to greater heights. Hooah!

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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