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By Ms. Emily Peacock
/ Published May 09, 2023
U.S. Space Force Master Sgt. Ana Afonso poses for an official Space Force photo.
U.S. Space Force Master Sgt. Ana Afonso credits the military for her new-found love of traveling.
U.S. Space Force Master Sgt. Ana Afonso poses with her family. Afonso says she feels most connected to her Filipino roots by celebrating with food and family.
U.S. Space Force Master Sgt. Ana Afonso says traveling for work inspired her passion for photography.
On this edition of Down to Earth, we’re checking in with Space Delta 2 – Space Domain Awareness to meet Space Force Master Sgt. Ana Afonso.
While she spent most of her youth in Galveston, Texas, Afonso and her family hail from the Philippines, but moved to Texas following the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo.
“My parents knew that I would have better opportunities here in the U.S. rather than in the Philippines,” Afonso said. “They sacrificed so much for us to start over here.”
Afonso’s military journey started in 2011 when she enlisted in the Air Force as a Space Operator. She would later go on to be one of the first Airmen to transfer to the Space Force in 2020.
“I actually transferred on September 11,” Afonso added. “That was extremely special.”
Currently, Afonso serves as the superintendent for an operating location within Del 2, ensuring her “tiny, yet mighty” team of Guardians successfully activates a new squadron within the Space Force.
“I coordinate operator integration into new space capabilities and ensure future systems are built with a warfighting perspective,” Afonso explained.
When asked what her favorite hobby is outside of work, Afonso reflected on her new-found love of travel and photography.
“Through the military, I’ve been able to travel all over, and I’ve loved being able to capture those memories with my camera,” Afonso shared. “New places and new cultures definitely kick-started my love for photography.”
With May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Afonso says she feels most connected to her Filipino roots by celebrating with food and family.
“Filipinos show love with food and cook with their hearts,” Afonso said. “Food is a great reason for everyone to gather and it’s how I remember celebrating every day with my family.”