Senior Airman a "Gate keeper" for construction project
By Tamry McCauley, Space and Missile Systems Center Public Affairs
/ Published April 20, 2016
LOS ANGELES AFB, Calif. -- Early spring may seem like a long wait for the main gate on Douglas Street to reopen, but the project is right on schedule, thanks to Senior Airman Gladys Pargas, contract specialist for the construction project.
In her role as a contracting specialist with the Space and Missile Systems Center, Pargas acts as an advisor to the program managers, assisting in the planning and acquiring of goods and services needed to accomplish the mission.
The San Fernando Valley native makes multiple trips to the Douglas Street gate on a daily basis to monitor the contractor's progress and help address any issues that the contractor may have during the contractor's work period. She advises the project manager on any findings and ensures the contractors perform the work they agreed to do, in accordance with the schedule.
"No two projects are the same. I have learned a lot while working on various projects at Los Angeles Air Force Base," said Pargas. "The challenges are what make my job so exciting."
According to Pargas, being the only Airman in SMC's contracting office is both challenging and exciting. Even though she has only been in the Air Force for three years, Pargas is a go-getter when it comes to getting the job done.
"The Air Force has provided me with opportunities to not only help me achieve my goals, but also I have been able to mentor others as well. As a first generation Mexican-American and the oldest child, my greatest achievement has been serving my country, while also pushing myself and my younger siblings to get through college," Pargas explained. "Now that all career fields in the Air Force are open to women, I have the same opportunities as my male counterparts. I work hard to help support my family, and seeing them succeed is the best feeling."
When asked what advice she would share with other women in the Air Force, Pargas is straightforward.
"In a mostly male-dominated military, sometimes we have to prove that we are stronger and far more capable than what some people expect of us," said Pargas. "We are the ones who set the standards, create paths and open the doors for the women of tomorrow. Also, I make sure to help out anyone in need because you'll never know when you'll need a helping hand."
The Douglas Street gate is currently closed to inbound and outbound vehicle traffic until May 13 for the construction project. Pedestrians will still be able to enter and exit through the Douglas Street pedestrian gate. During construction, the Aviation Boulevard gate will be open 24/7. The Visitor Control Center at the Douglas Street gate will be open; however, visitors will need to go to the Aviation Boulevard gate for entrance onto the base.