AotW: World traveling loadmaster

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Madelyn Keech
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Marissa Loya, 37th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, was originally born in Albuquerque, N.M., and moved around a lot during her childhood but claims Maryland as her home.

For Loya, who was recently selected Airlifter of the Week, the military was something that always seemed appealing to her, specifically the sense of camaraderie, the structure and the lifestyle. She has been stationed at three bases: Yokota Air Base, Japan, Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., and Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Loya said she enjoys her job as a loadmaster is because she has the opportunity to travel on missions.  Her favorite experience was being in Thailand while stationed at Yokota AB.

“I didn’t get to go, but some of my coworkers went to the elephant sanctuary,” Loya said. “And we went to the tiger zoo and I got to hold tiger cubs. They were so cute.”

Currently, Loya’s goals are to pay off education expenses and travel as much as she is able while stationed in Europe. Some of the places she said she wants to visit are Croatia, Tel Aviv and France.

“Being in Europe definitely provides a unique experience and opportunity because you can travel to all of these countries in a matter of an hour,” she said. “I am super happy that I’m getting that experience.”

Loya arrived on station here in March and said she has enjoyed the opportunities the fast-paced environment at Ramstein has to offer.

“You hit the ground running here,” she said. “For a lot of brand new loadmasters, they can learn so much here very quickly.”

Loya was selected for AotW not only because of her ability to execute daily responsibilities efficiently, such as loading and offloading operations, weight and balance composition, and assistance on combat, aeromedical and humanitarian missions, but because of taking on additional duties in her office. Loya is in charge of awards and decorations and goes above and beyond in streamlining enlisted performance report processing for her unit.

“Her constant positive attitude and go-getter mentality really impacts many members in the squadron,” said Master Sgt. Ricardo Galvan, 37 AS flight chief. “She is a great value to our team and a positive role model for the younger Airmen.”