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Nevada Air Guard's top performers recognized at annual ceremony

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Paula Macomber
  • 152nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
     Sunday, December 7, 2014 the members of the Nevada Air National Guard honored their outstanding Airmen of the year.  During the awards ceremony, located in the 152nd Maintenance Squadron's hangar, several members were recognized for their achievements throughout the year.

     The ceremony began with recognizing Lt. Col. Catherine Kanwetz's accomplishments with the State Partnership Program. Kanwetz played an integral part of establishing the Nevada National Guard's partnership with his Majesty's Armed Forces of the Kingdom of Tonga. Through this cooperative effort, the Nevada National Guard assumed a critical role in the international environment, and supports the goals and objectives of the Combatant Command, US Embassy and National Guard Bureau by fostering freedom, democracy, and human dignity, while providing opportunities for National Guard Soldiers and Airmen to interact with and learn from other nations and cultures. Kanwetz was awarded her third oak leaf cluster on her United States Air Force Commendation for her efforts.

     Local businessman, Don Goodman of the Eldorado Hotel & Casino was awarded the Nevada State Commendation Medal for his generous and selfless contributions to the Nevada National Guard by aggressively supporting four separate Nevada National Guard events with the highest degree of enthusiasm and professionalism.

     Senior Master Sgt. Michelle Anderson of the 152nd Intelligence Squadron was nominated for the Lance P. Sijan United States Air Force Leadership Award for her efforts while serving as the First Sergeant in the Intelligence Squadron from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. This national award is selected from all 54 states and territories. She will now complete against the Active Duty and Reserve components.

     Senior Master Sgt. Torry Thompson was recognized for receiving the 2014 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's Roy Wilkins Renown Service Award.

     The annual safety award was given to Capt. Thomas Dorsett from the 192nd Airlift Squadron for helping save a man after he was thrown from his all-terrain vehicle.

     The Director of the Safety for the Air National Guard, Col. Edward Vaughn, awarded 152nd Airlift Wing Safety Office the 2013 Air National Guard Safety Office of the Year after competing against all safety offices in all 54 states and territories.

     The annual Diversity Award was presented to Senior Master Sgt. Steven Graham from the 152nd Communications Flight and Tech. Sgt. Jose Escobar of the 152nd Intelligence Squadron for their support of the Diversity Council throughout the year.

     The Chief's Award was presented to Capt. Lance King of the 192nd Airlift Squadron and Tech. Sgt. Ryan Carlile of the 152nd Maintenance Group. King was recognized for his accomplishment as this year's Reno Gazette Journal's "20 under 40 Award."  Carlile was recognized for his work in the 152nd Maintenance Squadron's Quality Assurance Office and other volunteer efforts on base.

     The Commander's Excellence awards were presented to several recipients. The 152nd Airlift Wing recognized Master Sgt. Paula Macomber from the Public Affairs Office. The 152nd Operations Group awarded Senior Master Sgt. Cameron Pieters with their Commander's Award for Excellence. The 152nd Maintenance Group awarded the 152nd Maintenance Squadron's AFRICOM team which consisted of the following members: Chief Master Sgt. James Warner, Master Sgts. Robert Marshall, Aaron Dawson and Curtis Martin; Tech. Sgts. Tristan Cornett, Linden Maples, and Benjamin Reynolds; Senior Airman Brian Henning, and Staff Sgt. Joshua Smith.

     The Mission Support Group Commander's Excellence Award was presented to 1st Lt. Quinn Lundbom. The 152nd Medical Group presented their Commander's Award for Excellence to Senior Airman Hannah Kapczynski. The 152nd Intelligence Squadron awarded the DGS Nevada Mission Crew with their Commander's Award for Excellence.
The 232nd Operations Squadron recognized the 232nd Command Support Section with their Commander's Award for Excellence.  The Command Support team consisted of:  Master Sgts. Giovanna Boyer and Garfield Parris; Technical Sgt. Stefanie Washington, Staff Sgts. Bryan Bledsaw and Ryan Buenaventura. The State Headquarters, Nevada Air National Guard, Commander's Excellence Award was presented to Capt. Matthew DeMattei.

     The Silver Sentinel Award, presented each year by the Adjutant General, was awarded to  Capt. Leslie Mays from the 152nd Medical Group.

     The first ever Nevada Joint Force Headquarters award was presented to Nevada National Guard's J3 Staff members: Spc. Christopher Oakden of the Nevada Army National Guard and Master Sgt. Dean Long of the Nevada Air National Guard.

     The nominees for Annual Airman of the Year program were announced in the following categories: Honor Guard, First Sergeant, Airman, Non-Commissioned Officer, Senior Non-Commissioned Officer and Company Grade Officer.

     The sole First Sergeant of the Year nominee was Master Sgt. Kevin Brun of the 152nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

     Honor Guard Member of the Year nominees were: Airman 1st Class Emili Conway-Striggow of the 152nd Logistics Readiness Squadron; 152nd Medical Group member, Staff Sgt. Melissa Turner; Airman 1st Class Kristine Wiley of the 152nd Airlift Wing; and Senior Airman Brian Skach, of the 152nd Communications Flight.

     Airman of the Year nominees were: 152nd Logistics Readiness Squadron's Airman 1st Class Emili Conway-Striggow; Airman 1st Class Kyle Giboney of the152nd Intelligence Squadron; 152nd Logistics Readiness Squadron's Airman 1st Class Juan Macias; and Airman 1st Class Rebecca Barber of the 192nd Airlift Squadron.

     Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year nominees were: Staff Sgt. Christopher Hessler of the 192nd Airlift Squadron; Tech. Sgt. Mark Magee of the 152nd Intelligence Squadron; Tech. Sgt. Sherdean Din of the 152nd Force Support Squadron and Tech. Sgt. Ronald Hanselman of the 152nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

     Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year nominees were: Master Sgt. Michael Moyer of 152nd Intelligence Squadron; 232nd Operations Squadron's Master Sgt. Marco Trejo; Master Sgt. Brian Toward of the 232nd Operations Squadron; and Master Sgt. Lyle Smith of the 192nd Airlift Squadron..

     The Company Grade Officer of the Year nominees were: Capts. Lee Wilson, David McNally and Lance King, all from the 192nd Airlift Squadron, and 1st Lt. Lisa Maciel, 152nd Medical Group.

     The Airman of the Year award winners will be announced at the Airman of the Year Banquet, scheduled for January 10, 2015 at the Nevada Air National Guard Base.