Honoring Women’s History Month, recognizing AFSAC leadership in COVID-19 relief efforts
By Jonathan Tharp, AF Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate
/ Published March 03, 2021
The following article is a part of the Special Emphasis Program by the Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation (AFSAC) Directorate honoring Women’s History Month, March 2021.
Lt. Col. Jacqlyn L. Combs, U.S. Air Force Civilian and U.S. Army National Guardsman
In her civilian role, Combs serves as a Country Support Manager for the India Country Team at the Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation (AFSAC) Directorate, handling logistics support for India’s Foreign Military Sales program. Combs also serves as a United States Army National Guardsman. In her military role, she was brought onto Active Duty Operational Support orders on April 6, 2020 at the height of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Initially reporting to the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, she put her logistics training and experience to work serving as a National Guard Liaison Officer to the ESF7 logistics function, managing the critical Personal Protective Equipment donations sent to Ohio for COVID-19 relief. After a month of directing the supply movement of PPE to Ohio’s frontline workers, Combs moved to the Joint Forces Headquarters as the Deputy J4. The J4/G4 Office manages all of the Logistical Operations for the entire state of Ohio. Combs is currently still serving in her role at the J4 Office, as a COVID-19 warrior to help stop the spread of this devastating pandemic.
Combs answered a few questions about her experience during the pandemic:
Have you learned anything new from the pandemic that will impact how you serve going forward?
“I think the biggest takeaway from my experience thus far is the growth in my adaptability and flexibility. Obviously, these are unprecedented times. Navigating through the unknown has definitely refined my sense of patience and ability to shift priorities at any given moment to provide support where [and] when needed.”
What inspires you to serve every day?
“When I originally joined the Army, I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself and in the service of others. That sentiment remains true today! The COVID response mission is the very premise behind why the National Guard exists, which is to provide support in time of domestic emergencies or need. The Ohio National Guard has supported testing and vaccination missions, local food bank operations and several other supporting missions across the state. Even though I haven’t been directly involved in those operations, I take comfort in the fact that my involvement in the operational planning of those efforts are indirectly impacting the lives of Ohioans for the better.”
Hindsight is always 20/20. What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first received your Active Duty Operational Support (ADOS) orders?
During my time on orders, I met a lot of amazing people from the local counties, state agencies, and even in the Ohio National Guard; and I have always believed in the importance of establishing a strong network. However, I didn’t realize how complex inter-agency relationships are. When you layer in the fact we are dealing with a global pandemic, it further complicates the ability to synchronize planning discussions to create a common operating picture.”