A1C Ray the weather forecast for today

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Abbey Rieves
  • 355th Wing Public Affairs

As a military spouse, Kayla Ray supported her Security Forces husband through five duty stations.

After a standstill in college, she decided to put the uniform on herself. 

The now Airman First Class, is assigned to the 355th Operations Support Squadron as a weather forecaster.

“We are ensuring the safety of all our members and assets at DM,” said Ray. “The most significant thing about my job is supporting all of the mission types we have here.”

Weather services is one of five flights in 355th OSS, which supplies war-fighters with forces for close air support, forward air control and combat search and rescue. 

Air Force weather forecasters also utilize their niche skills learned over 146 training days to support joint services.

Since there are many mission types on Davis-Monthan, Ray’s influential role in the airfield, mission forecast and resource protection has her alerting facilities, briefing the A-10C Thunderbolt II pilots, and rescue groups of incoming weather conditions. 

“The best part of my job is getting the forecast right,” said Ray. “We are essentially predicting the future everyday so those missions can continue to be successful.”

Ray has been on station for almost 11 months, said her supervisor Staff Sgt. Ravi Saini, 355th OSS weather craftsman and training monitor. 

“Airman Ray has excelled as an A1C: she finished her 5-level, upgrade training, on-the-job-training; every other tasker I’ve assigned her,” continued Saini. “She has done it better and faster than any other A1C we have seen in the last four years.” 

Muti-capable Airman, such as Ray and her ability to succeed in everything she sets her mind to, is an example of how the Air Force relentlessly stacks its playbook for future combat.

“Weather is going to play a big role as we change our deployment cycles,” said Saini. “A bigger role than we have had previously.”

To stay one step ahead of the enemy’s evolving capabilities, the Air Force outlined its new strategy, Agile Combat Employment, in 2022. ACE identifies ways to increase service member’s resilience and survivability without compromising existing combat power.

Dominating ACE, the 355th OSS has increased reactive and proactive resource protection to support a variety of mission sets at Davis Monthan and in deployed locations, with a forward-thinking mindset.

“We look at Airmen like A1C Ray, who are flexible, can lead and support the military decision-making process,” said Saini. “This way, Airmen can give clear guidance with meteorological reasoning to commanders, so commanders can make the best decision possible.”

With a mission set designed around a 24/7 operation, creating a team through mutual trust helps Airmen adapt and overcome challenges they may encounter.

“It’s on us as a team to support each other,” Ray said. “We do a great job keeping morale up.” 

Through teammates supporting each other, Airmen are sharing their unique ideas to strengthen the force structure. 

“Diversity of thought and experience is important for this workplace because that’s what brings us different ideas,” said Saini. “We need people who challenge the system and come with a better system. A1C Ray shows that everyday, on and off duty.”