U.S Air Force Proud of Rwanda Native Helping to lead the Army’s new F-35 MICAP

Since his youth in an East-Central African nation with a turbulent history of genocide, one Airman dreamed of becoming a leader.

Only two years after enlisting, Senior Airman Karl Mutangana, 96th Logistics Readiness Squadron, deployed for his new country as an Airman in United States Air Force.

“I’m grateful. Being in the United States Air Force is an enlightening experience,” said the five-level journeyman. “It’s rewarding to see what I do supports the test aircraft and a larger mission.”

Mutangana, the eldest of five siblings was born in Kigali, Rwanda.

“Growing up in Rwanda had its ups and downs,” said the 22-year-old. “Sometimes we didn’t have anything to eat. The entire community would be without food, so it didn’t bother us as much. We didn’t dwell on it. We just lived.”

Mutangana was 11-years-old when his mother moved to America under refugee status. He remained in Rwanda with his grandmother.

Although the 1994 Rwandan genocide was over when Mutangana was born, he grew up in a conflicted society with lingering ideological differences. The prejudice he witnessed from those tribal conflicts ignited his passion for leadership, he said.

Determined to keep those differences from affecting another generation, he became the president of the Never Again Club in his high school.

The club advocated harmony and dialog between the Hutu and Tutsis, the Rwandan ethnic groups affected by the genocide.

“Bringing Hutus and Tutsis students together to talk through real issues broke the bondage. We became friends. We realized we had a better future,” said the multi-lingual Airman who speaks four African languages. “Through this experience, I realized I had a passion for leadership. There was something better in my future too.”

Eventually, after three immigration application denials, Mutangana was granted a permanent residence card and joined his mother and his America-born siblings in Connecticut in 2015.

“There are no words to express how I felt when I was reunited with my family,” he said. “It was the happiest moment of life to finally hug my mum and meet my siblings.”

Long before Mutangana arrived, he searched for leadership opportunities. He found himself drawn to the Air Force’s culture of integrity and leadership.

“I felt the Air Force would be a good platform to develop my leadership skills and further my education. It would be living my dream.” he said. “I always knew I wouldn’t stay in Rwanda forever. I wanted to open up and seek new opportunities.”

Despite some uncertainty about the requirements for joining the Air Force, Mutangana placed his hopes and dreams in what his mother always told him, ‘anything you think of, dream of, you can achieve it.’

“When the recruiter told me I was eligible. I knew it was the beginning of my success story,” said Mutangana.  “I was glad for the opportunity to join the world’s greatest Air force.”

Mutangana first donned his ‘Blues’ for basic training graduation. That momentous day was when he also became an American citizen.

“At the same time, I was sworn-in as a U.S citizen,” said Mutangana. “It was memorable. I became an American after 10 months in the country. It was a miracle.”

Mutangana’s leadership qualities blossomed quickly as an Airman. He was recently promoted to senior airman six months early. His job as a liaison between suppliers ensures F-35 aircraft parts are prioritized according to mission needs.

Senior Airman Karl Mutangana, 96th Logistics Readiness Squadron, is a supply liaison for F-35 Lightning II aircraft parts. He is an African-immigrant who dreamed of becoming an Airman. He is currently deployed serving his new country. Photo was taken prior to promotion. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

“Mutangana was handpicked to help lead the new F-35 MICAP, (mission capable section) here and he’s become a key player,” said Staff Sgt. Stephany Birkos, Mutangana’s supervisor. “He makes me proud. His motivation and passion are what our Air Force needs.”

Now deployed, Mutangana is in a leadership role as an escort for non-military connected base workers.

“I had a chance to speak to a few. Every time I hear their stories, it humbles me and makes me grateful for the opportunities I have,” said Mutangana.

12 thoughts on “U.S Air Force Proud of Rwanda Native Helping to lead the Army’s new F-35 MICAP

  1. I just want to mention I’m all new to blogs and certainly savored you’re web site. More than likely I’m want to bookmark your site . You surely have good writings. Appreciate it for sharing your web page.

  2. I am usually to running a blog and i actually recognize your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information.

  3. I want to express appreciation to you just for rescuing me from this problem. Right after browsing through the online world and obtaining opinions which were not beneficial, I believed my entire life was done. Living devoid of the approaches to the problems you have resolved by means of your good write-up is a critical case, and the ones that would have badly damaged my career if I hadn’t encountered your site. Your good capability and kindness in dealing with all the stuff was helpful. I am not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t come upon such a subject like this. I can at this time look forward to my future. Thank you so much for your high quality and effective guide. I will not think twice to recommend the blog to any individual who would need guidance on this situation.

  4. Hi there! This is kind of off topic but I need some
    advice from an established blog. Is it hard to set up your own blog?
    I’m not very techincal but I can figure
    things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure
    where to begin. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Cheers

  5. I have been browsing on-line greater than three hours as of late, but I by no means discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is beautiful price enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made just right content as you did, the web shall be a lot more helpful than ever before. “It’s all right to have butterflies in your stomach. Just get them to fly in formation.” by Dr. Rob Gilbert.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *