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Weasel of the Week | Staff Sgt. Kaelen Murakami

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Isaac Nicholson
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The Weasel of the Week series asks Team Shaw to share their experiences, Air Force spirit and personalities. We sat down with Staff Sgt. Kaelen Murakami, 55th Fighter Generation Squadron weapons load crew chief, to get to know him and his job. Murakami is responsible for ensuring aircraft weapons systems are properly working and loaded with the correct munitions. His future goals include earning the rank of Tech. Sgt. on his first try and learning to speak fluent Japanese.

Where are you from?
I’m from Las Vegas, Nevada.

Why did you decide to join the Air Force?
I wanted to get out of my home city and see what the world had to offer.

How long have you been at Shaw?
I’ve been at Shaw for almost a year.

What is one Air Force resource you found that is incredibly beneficial?
I would have to say that tuition assistance is very helpful.

What is your favorite part of South Carolina?
The barbecue!

What is your favorite part of your hometown?
I really enjoy the diversity of cultures in my hometown.

How would you describe a normal day for you?
Many of my daily tasks include configuring jets, testing weapons stations and loading munitions on said stations. It all depends on what the operation requests are for that day.

What is one thing you wish people knew about your job?
I wish people knew how much attention to detail is necessary to perform this job well and safely.

What is one word that describes how you lead?
Mentor. I like to see myself more as a mentor or teacher than a leader.

What is your least favorite part of your job? How do you make sure it gets done?
I don’t enjoy setting up stores system testers, which are used for verifying that weapons stations will perform their purpose well in flight. They’re bulky and can take a while to set up, but if I keep the goal in my mind, it helps me make sure I get it done.

What is your favorite part of the job?
I enjoy loading munitions that I know will support the mission.

What would you like to say to the people back home?
I just hope my family knows that I miss them and I’ll be back in Japan in no time!