By UTC (SCW) Scott Kristek, CSFE Learning Site Detachment Sheppard Air Force Base Public Affairs
20150521-N-TG659-001 CECR Ibrahim Mintoumba receives his naturalization certificate after becoming a U.S. citizen, CSFE Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, May 21. Photo by UTC (SCW) Scott Kristek/Released
Construction Electrician Contructionman Recruit Ibrahim Mintoumba, a Navy student attending Construction Electrician (CE) ‘A’ School at the Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering Detachment Sheppard Air Force Base (CSFE Det. SAFB), Texas, was sworn in during an Oath of Citizenship, May 21.
“I am proud to be an American and to have the opportunity to defend the Constitution and freedoms of our citizens in this great country,” Mintoumba said. “I felt a sense of pride and honor saying the oath and promising that I will bear true faith and allegiance to her [America].”
Mintoumba, a native of Togo, West Africa, dreamed of becoming a U.S. citizen. When he moved to Pittsburgh, Penn., in 2010 and was hired as a cashier in a restaurant working at the Pittsburgh International Airport, he saw first-hand the happiness of the citizens. Witnessing the freedoms and life they were able to live, which were very different from the life he had in Togo, inspired him to begin the naturalization process.
Upon completion of basic training, he arrived at CSFE Det Sheppard to attend CE ‘A’ School and become a Seabee. During his indoctrination brief, he saw the detachment had a naturalization representative, and asked to make an appointment to discuss his status. The barracks staff contacted Chief Utilitiesman (SCW) Scott Kristek, and Mintoumba’s package was underway. Working directly with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Kristek was able to process his entire package from start to finish. Immigration Officer Robin Carpenter drove up from the Dallas-Fort Worth Immigration Office to conduct his interview and administer the oath.
Master Chief Utilities Constructionman Joseph Johnson, assistant officer in charge, CSFE Det. SAFB, said, “The leadership here at Sheppard is all about taking care of our students, to prepare them for success as the next generation of Seabees. Giving them the resources and opportunity to take advantage of a program available to them that can better their lives is a privilege for us, especially knowing the quality and efforts Mintoumba has been putting forth throughout his school and on duty. ”
When asked what his thoughts were about the naturalization process at Sheppard AFB, Mintoumba replied, “The staff members here at Sheppard were very helpful, and Chief Kristek took care of a lot of processing my paperwork so that there was very little impact to my studies during school. I am very happy that I was able to complete the process during my time here so that I can be available for whatever the Seabees need me to do for my first assignment without being limited due to citizenship status.”
Mintoumba said he enlisted in the U.S. Navy so he could serve our nation and protect those freedoms that everyone enjoys so much. In December 2014, he left his family in Pennsylvania to attend Navy recruit training in Great Lakes, Ill.
So far this fiscal year, CSFE Det. SAFB has assisted eight students in completing their citizenship packages with direct support from the Dallas-Fort Worth Immigration Office.
For more information on the CSFE Det. SAFB, visit: https://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/csfe/sheppard/