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AFDW&You: Meet Staff Sgt. Richie Shia

Servicemembers in dress uniforms.

(Courtesy photo)

Uniformed servicemember in front of statues.

(Courtesy photo)

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. --

The Air Force District of Washington encompasses more than 30,000 Airmen in 1,758 units stationed at 500 locations in 108 countries. AFDW Airmen execute varied missions around the world alongside service members and civilians from different Air Force major commands, joint units and international organizations. AFDW highlights Airmen in these unique missions in its series, “AFDW and You.”

The Airman: Staff Sgt. Richie Shia is the Central Registry and Information Management noncommissioned officer in charge at Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum, the Netherlands. Shia is originally from Sumter, South Carolina.

The mission: I oversee classified document handling operations and training for the Joint Headquarters Central Registry alongside my five international co-workers. I register and account for NATO Secret Registry assets including hard drives, documents and combinations. I also conduct annual JFC HQ inventory inspections. Lastly, I lead the Allied JFC Brunssum Command Operations courier program that transports NATO Secret material within the Europe and Afghanistan area of responsibilities.

The highlights: It is my first time working in a multi-national joint environment. My international colleagues have taught me so much about Europe and their respective countries. The location provides many personal and professional travel opportunities to experience it all first hand.

The challenges: The battle rhythm varies for each nation. In order to grasp the workplace dynamics and customs I observed how my colleagues handled tasks, adopted their approaches and asked for feedback to identify any remaining gaps. Communication was key!

The hobbies: Collecting Dragon Ball figures and statues.