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Defending MAFB’s vast missile complex

Airman 1st Class Sierra Lamas, 841st Missile Security Forces Squadron defender, poses for a photo Oct. 9, 2019, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.

Airman 1st Class Sierra Lamas, 841st Missile Security Forces Squadron defender, poses for a photo Oct. 9, 2019, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Lamas’ tasks include guarding launch facilities, security installations and its personnel, and protecting high-valued assets during transport (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob M. Thompson)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. --

From Albuquerque, New Mexico, Airman 1st Class Sierra Lamas, 841st Missile Security Forces Squadron defender, serves in one of the Air Force’s most unique positions: missile security forces.

“As a defender in the missile field, we serve as a deterrent to deny unauthorized access to our missile facilities and help ensure the safety of our people,” said Lamas. “We want to give civilians a peace of mind and have them feel safe by knowing we are out there 24/7, fulfilling our mission.”

Lamas’ tasks include guarding launch facilities, security installations and its personnel and protecting high-valued assets during transport.

Prior to protecting one leg of the nuclear triad, Lamas worked in cosmetology, but joining the Air Force was always something she sought after.

“After high school, I knew at some point I wanted to join the military,” said Lamas. “My parents raised me to be well-rounded, so I wanted to pursue cosmetology prior to enlisting.

“Cosmetology taught me to work hard and keep a good work ethic,” she continued. “Those traits carried over to the military. As a defender, you’re on your feet all day with all your gear on and you’re tired, but you keep going.”

While Lamas enjoys her current job, it still has its challenges.

“It was difficult at first because you have to pack up your life, live at a missile alert facility for about a week, then readjust when you are back,” said Lamas. “But the people I have met make it worth it. You travel, live and work together and you feel like a family.”

Living at the MAF provides Airmen down time to focus on their personal lives. For Lamas, she uses that time to further her education.

“My goal is to finish my [Community College of the Air Force degree] and work toward my bachelor’s for business,” she said. “I want to use my degree as a foundation to be an entrepreneur.

“I plan to learn as much as I can from the Air Force and use these opportunities to positively influence my future,” Lamas concluded.