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Meet the Member: Senior Airman Pareshkumar Brahmbhatt

Photo of Senior Airman Pareshkumar Brahmbhatt

Photo of Senior Airman Pareshkumar Brahmbhatt

HORSHAM AIR GUARD STATION, PA -- Senior Airman Pareshkumar Brahmbhatt, a cyber-surety specialist with the 111th Communications Flight, grew up in Northeast Philadelphia, in a very diverse neighborhood. This diverse cultural experience gave him the opportunity to understand and be more open-minded toward others.

"It made me more driven living among the immigrant community," said Brahmbhatt. "I saw all the different hardships that they had gone through to get here and that had left a mark on me."

Brahmbhatt became interested in the Air National Guard while attending high school in Philadelphia. During his high school days, Brahmbhatt joined the Civil Air Patrol program and started to take flying lessons at Northeast Airport with a retired Air Force captain and a teacher with the CAP program.

"It's a life I can look forward to," said Brahmbhatt regarding his military career exploration.

Brahmbhatt joined the Air National Guard in 2008, after hearing a speech given by an officer from the 111th Fighter Wing at one of their CAP meetings. The speaker had emphasizing the educational benefits of joining the military.

"The Air National Guard gave me a good route into the military without signing away my life," said Brahmbhatt.

Brahmbhatt deployed in April 2010 through August 2010 to Joint Forces Base Balad with the 270th Engineering and Installation Squadron.

Brahmbhatt spoke on one of his best experiences while returning from the deployment in Qatar; a promotional program gave him the opportunity to go the mall in Qatar, said Brahmbhatt. "I got some Haagen-Dazs ice cream from the mall in Qatar, not many people can say that, and I got to go ice skating in the mall at Qatar."

Brahmbhatt is attending Drexel University fulltime, where he is working on his bachelor's degree in physics and a minor in mathematics.

During the past four-years, Brahmbhatt has been on working on robotic research as a member of Drexel's Autonomous Systems Laboratory. The group focuses on humanoid robotics and helicopters.

Brahmbhatt is preparing for the next Defense Aerospace Research Program Agency or DARPA challenge. The university's program, led by mechanical engineering professor, Dr. Paul Y. Oh, will give the team members 27-months to design, prepare and test a "search and rescue" firefighting robot. The robot shall be designed to go into burning building and perform tasks such as turning off gas valves, extracting victims and moving heavy objects.

In the future, Brahmbhatt would like to continue his work with robots, doing research and starting his own "trash to electricity" company. He stated his experience with the National Guard will help him with his future plans because of the knowledge he has obtained while being deployed. "That's one of the benefits of the Guard; I can have a life outside the military and still be in the military."