One Airman, Global Impact | Col. Elizabeth Chamberlain

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Timm Huffman
  • HQ RIO Public Affairs
Chamberlain, the Individual Mobilization Augmentee to the Intelligence Director at 7th Air Force, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, who has spent time on active duty and in the traditional reserve as an Air Reserve Technician, said the Individual Reserve program has helped expand the possibilities for her career.

"I became an Individual Mobilization Augmentee... to seek broader intelligence and leadership opportunities," she said. "The opportunity to move between the unit and IMA programs has really helped me cultivate insight into many aspects of [Air Force] Reserve Command."

In addition to expanding her personal horizons, Chamberlain also enjoys supporting the active-duty mission. She says it's a great opportunity to be able to influence active-duty policy and programming.

In her current position within the Pacific Command, she's able to help the Air Force prepare for future conflicts by improving advanced target development. Target development is the process of pre-determining strategic targets in the event of conflict. She said that in order to support counter-insurgency operations since 9/11, the intelligence community has moved more towards dynamic targeting. However, in her area of responsibility, pre-planned targeting is more important. That's why she is working to understand what the Air Force can do to improve, "so we can be as ready as possible to deter or defeat potential adversaries."

Chamberlain is also involved in the planning some of the Department of Defense's largest readiness exercises - Key Resolve and Ulchi Focus Guardian. She said the exacting and thorough nature of these exercises is what makes the U.S. military such an effective fighting force. After 20 years in the service, she has had the opportunity to work on more than ten exercises at the tactical, operational and strategic levels.

"It is challenging and very rewarding to throw yourself into these experiences and learn as much as you can while working to improve of our doctrine and tactics, techniques and procedures," she said.

She considers herself lucky to be able to work with her team of active-duty intelligence colonels who work so seamlessly together. She says they teach and engage with her each day; and she's happy to support them in return with her targeting experience. Because of this teamwork, she said the support they provide to 7th AF is very effective.

In addition to her duties in the intelligence community, Chamberlain is also a mom and military spouse who is very involved in her community. She volunteers as an admissions liaison officer for the Air Force Academy, serves on the board of directors for non-profit leadership organization Academy Women, advises for several local leadership organizations, supports local military families at her base, and volunteers at her kid's school.

She said her many roles in the Air Force, including growing up as a "military brat", have given her a vibrant understanding of the service and how the active duty, reserve, civilians and families all work together.

"All parts of our Air Force must be strong, resilient and committed, for us to be successful. I'm lucky to see almost every side of this dynamic every day," she said.

Chamberlain hopes the many roles she plays in her Air Force life will encourage other people to serve the country, whether in uniform or otherwise.

"There are so many ways to serve, and wearing the uniform on active duty is just one type of opportunity," she said.