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Services Airman keeps Task Force billeted, fed and entertained

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Kelly Ogden
  • 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern)
He's one of the busiest Airmen assigned to the U.S. Southern Command sponsored New Horizons exercise in Belize.

As the lodging representative he makes room assignments, tracks personnel accountability and works with the host nation hotel to make sure things like laundry, dining and housekeeping practices are meeting government standards.

Senior Airman Mario Acevedo, a New Horizons Services journeyman deployed from the 820th RED HORSE Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, also plans morale trips, barbeques, movie nights and sports and fitness activities.

When he's done with all of that he issues MREs to more than 560 personnel, delivers breakfast to two engineering constructions sites in Belize City each morning and also assists with switching out Belizean Defence Force security guards at the end and beginning of their shifts.

"I've enjoyed it," said the Tucson, Arizona native. "The best part of the deployment is working with a great team. It's a different environment and something I am not used to."

Acevedo joined the Air Force four years ago. His great-grandfather and his grandfather were both Navy and his father was Army.

"It was kind of a keep it in the family thing," Acevedo said. "I wanted to do something that was noteworthy and I had an urge to serve my country."

The Airman said that his dad is very proud of him and he likes that he is serving; however, his mom is just "okay" with his military service as she wants her son to be careful and safe.

"I plan on doing 30 years (if they let me) and retiring as a chief master sergeant," he said. "You have to aim high and have goals."

In just a few short weeks the New Horizons exercise will be complete and Acevedo will return home.

Although his excited to redeploy, he says that he will definitely miss the Belizean people.

"Just talking to them was great," he said. "They made it kind of feel like home."