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Maintainers secure Nevada Air Guard's second consecutive Excellence in Diversity award

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Emerson Marcus

The Nevada Air National Guard won its second consecutive National Guard Bureau Excellence in Diversity award in the category of Best Air National Guard unit at the Professional Education Center in North Little Rock, Arkansas last month.

The 152nd Maintenance Group, Nevada Air National Guard, took home the award this year for Best Air National Guard unit.

"I am excited and honored to receive this award and this important
recognition," said Col. Tom Funk, 152nd Maintenance Group commander, who was in Arkansas on Sept. 24 to accept the award presented by Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief, National Guard Bureau. "We run our organization based on performance. Every person brings with them an incredible
variety of skills and experience that, if paid attention to and properly
cultivated, can only improve upon everything we do."

The maintenance group's participation in the Nevada Air National Guard's annual Leadership Flyaway at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Tennessee along with the success of its Maintainer of the Quarter and Speed Mentoring programs were noted as reasons why the group garnered this year's award.

The Best Air National Guard unit award was one of five awards given during the annual award ceremony in Arkansas. Other winners included:

Exemplary States and Territories: Pennsylvania National Guard

Best Army National Guard unit: Women's Special Emphasis Council, Minnesota

Individual, Army National Guard: Amanda Wicker

Individual, Air National Guard: Maj. Corey W. Robinson

This marks the third time in four years Nevada has captured at least one of the five annual NGB Excellence in Diversity awards.

Last year, along with the 152nd Airlift Wing winning Best Air National Guard unit, Nevada won the state award and the Army National Guard individual award (Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin Pagni).

At the award ceremony held in 2016, Nevada took four awards: exemplary state (tied Vermont National Guard), Best Army National Guard unit (Recruiting and Retention Battalion), Army National Guard individual award (Staff Sgt. Michelle Ochoa) and Air National Guard individual award (Col. JoAnn Meacham).

"Diversity and inclusion is one of the five strategic priorities of the Nevada National Guard," said Brig. Gen. Ondra Berry, Nevada National Guard adjutant general. "It is a force multiplier centered on performance. To ensure maximum contribution of all our Airmen, Soldiers and civilians, it is the primary responsibility of all personnel to embrace, support and bring life to diversity and inclusion."

The NGB Excellence in Diversity Awards are presented to outstanding National Guard individuals, organizations, states and territories for significant contributions to diversity and inclusion initiatives.

The event is hosted annually by the Joint Diversity Executive Council.