HomeNewsArticle Display

WOW: Kelsey Smith

A picture of the weasel of the week with the commander and command chief.

Kelsey Smith, 20th Fighter Wing Safety office United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, is recognized as the Weasel of the Week (WOW) at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Jan.14, 2020. Best known for managing Shaw’s Bird and Wildlife Aircraft Strike Hazard program, outside work Smith enjoys the outdoors, sketching and playing with her two dogs. The WOW series highlights Airmen and asks them to share their likes, dislikes, Air Force spirit and personalities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. William Banton)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --

The Weasel of the Week series asks Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, heroes, experts and all-around great Airmen to share their likes, dislikes, Air Force spirit and personalities. We sat down with Kelsey Smith, 20th Fighter Wing Safety office, to get to know her. Smith is best known for managing Shaw’s Bird and Wildlife Aircraft Strike Hazard program, outside work Smith enjoys the outdoors, sketching and spending time with her dogs.

Where are you from?
Atlanta, Georgia.

Why did you decide to join the Air Force?
I actually work for United States Department of Agriculture - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services. I thrive in wildlife ecology and management and my grandfather was also a USAF pilot—so I get to live out one of my passions and feel closer to my family with the BASH program at the same time!

How long have you been at Shaw?
About a year and a half.

What is your favorite part of South Carolina?
I can be in the mountains or at the beach in a couple of hours.

How would you describe a normal day?
I start scanning the skies before I even get to the gate. Then I head out to mitigate wildlife hazards to keep pilots safe.

What is your favorite sport? Team?
Anything intramural - I love playing sports and cheering on my friends!

How would you describe your leadership style?
I have a pretty flexible leadership toolbox, but no matter what I will always lead by example.

What is one Air Force resource you found that is incredibly beneficial and why?
Too many to count! I get to work with a lot of great people and leadership here.

What’s your outlook mailbox look like?
A lot of corresponding threads.

What is one thing you wish people knew about your job?
BASH programs take on a multifaceted approach in hazard mitigation and habitat management.

What is your least favorite task and how do you make sure you get it done?
Office work can seem boring, but it’s just as critical to the job. I take advantage of lulls in wildlife activity to get things done. All of it. Every day is different, so it keeps me on my toes!