NSP welcomes Air Force Fellows
Argonne’s National Security Programs recently welcomed its newest U.S. Air Force Fellows, Lieutenant Colonel Shamekia Toliver and Major Mason Kehs. Every year, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) chooses an elite cadre of officers and civilians to serve 10- to 18-month tours within the U.S. Department of Defense, other government agencies or distinguished civilian institutions.
The USAF conducts a rigorous selection process to select two field-grade officers to represent the Air Force at Argonne, for a one-year fellowship during which their effort is covered in full by the USAF. Candidates are selected based on merit, are typically ranked at the top of their respective career fields, and possess education and experience relevant to Argonne’s mission. The program was created to help promote communication between the Air Force and Argonne and encourage collaboration on projects that could potentially affect both the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Defense. The fellowship also offers an opportunity for participants to expand their knowledge and experience with the basic and applied sciences at which Argonne excels.
Lieutenant Colonel Shamekia Toliver is the commander, 7th Civil Engineer Squadron, 7th Mission Support Group, 7th Bomb Wing, located at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. She commands an engineer force of 315 military and civilians spread over six diverse flights responsible for the effective operation and maintenance of a $2.9B physical plant supporting B-1B and C-130J weapon systems. As base fire marshall, she is responsible for all crash, fire and rescue services. Additionally, she is responsible for explosive ordnance disposal operations in support of assigned aircraft, the U.S. Secret Service and other federal agencies.
Toliver entered the Air Force in 1994 as an airman in the Enlisted Corps. She was selected for the Airman Scholarship Commissioning Program and gained her commission in 2002 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps. She holds a Master of Science degree in civil engineering and also holds a special experience identifier as a board certified and licensed professional engineer. Toliver is a native of Chicago.
Major Mason W. Kehs is the wing weapons officer for the 36th Wing at Andersen Air Force Base (AFB), Guam. He is responsible for ensuring the wing integrates both tenant and deployed flying squadrons into USPACOM Operational Plans. He also oversees the planning and execution of Continuous Bomber Presence missions, Operation Noble Eagle and various large force exercises that occur at Andersen AFB.
Kehs received his commission from the University of Illinois Reserve Officer Training Corps program in 2007, where he was a distinguished graduate. He earned his wings at Sheppard AFB, Texas in 2007. Kehs has served in three operational B-52 squadrons, performing duties in resource management, standardization and evaluation, training and tactics. In 2011, he deployed to Guam in support of the Pacific Continuous Bomber Presence mission. In 2014, he completed the USAF Weapons School as a distinguished graduate.