TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
Citing the collective invaluable contributions of individuals to the mission of the Continental U.S. NORAD Region-1st Air Force (Air Forces Northern) enterprise, the CONR-1 AF (AFNORTH) Commander shared his thoughts on the topic during the organization’s 2018 annual awards ceremony March 27.
“Today, we are going to recognize the individual excellence that makes up this great team,” said Lt. Gen. R. Scott Williams during his opening comments. “Each day you’re out there performing the mission, engaging the community and leading others, our impact is felt – kudos to you all.”
While not all the award recipients were able to make the trip for the ceremony, those who did received a mission briefing and a 601st Air Operations Center tour in the morning prior to the early-afternoon ceremony and reception.
Keeping with the theme of how important individual effort is critical to the team effort, the general cited a quote from legendary NBA coach, Phil Jackson, who won a combined total of 11 championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls.
According to Jackson, “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”
Then, Williams provided a snapshot of some of the awardees’ efforts: the F-15C Eagle pilot who flew lead during the Operation Noble Eagle intercept of the aircraft stolen from Seattle-Tacoma Airport in August; streamlining a Windows 10 migration that reduced the system update timeline from two months to 12 hours; discovery of a loose main engine fuel line that prevented a catastrophic engine failure; and the acquisition of a significantly increased number of training days which enhanced unit training.
“Not everyone can win these awards, but we all play a part in every accomplishment.”
The 2018 CONR- 1st AF (AFNORTH) award recipients are:
CONR Outstanding Professionals of the Year:
CONR Airman of the Year: A1C Hope Parrish (1st AF)
CONR NCO OTY: SSgt Robert Hawlik (177th Fighter Wing)
CONR Senior NCO OTY: MSgt Quintin Johnson (1st AF, Detachment 2)
CONR Company Grade Officer OTY: Capt Michael Grigsby (601st Air Operations Center)
CONR Field Grade Officer OTY: Maj. Christopher Algeier (1st AF, De.t 1)
CONR Civilian Category 1 OTY: Rita Weldon (Civil Air Patrol USAF)
CONR Civilian Category 2 OTY: Barry Arzberger (Western Air Defense Sector)
CONR Civilian Category 3 OTY: Ed Williams (601st AOC)
CONR Aerospace Control Alert Command Post Controller OTY: TSgt Thomas Capito (177th FW)
CONR ACA Maintainer OTY: Staff Sgt. Kiara Moreno (144th FW, Det. 1)
CONR ACA Pilot OTY: Capt Jordan Gegner (142nd FW)
CONR Security Forces Member OTY: Tech. Sgt. William Picher (144th FW)
CONR Drill Status Guardsman/Reservist (Enlisted) OTY: Senior Amn. Pierre Chaniz-Rico (177th FW)
CONR Drill Status Guardsman/Reservist (Officer) OTY: Capt. Colette Muller (WADS)
CONR ACA Unit OTY: 177th FW (F-16) and 142nd FW (F-15C)
CONR Command and Control Warrior (Enlisted) OTY: Master Sgt. Donald Pierce (WADS)
CONR C2 Warrior (Officer) OTY: Maj. Christopher Algeier (1st AF, Det. 1)
CONR C2 Unit OTY: 601st AOC
CONR First Sergeant OTY: Senior Master Sgt. Jason Bennett (1st AF)
2018 Headquarters 1st AF Staff Annual Awards recipients:
HQ 1st AF Airman OTY: A1C Hope Parrish (Manpower, Personnel & Services)
HQ 1st AF Noncommissioned Officer OTY: Staff Sgt. Justin Harrison (Air Force Rescue Coordination Center)
HQ 1st AF Senior Noncommissioned Officer OTY: Senior Master Sgt. Adam Pawelek (Logistics)
HQ 1 AF CGO OTY: Capt. Nate Wells (Logistics)
HQ 1 AF Field Grade Officer OTY: Maj. Christy Clifton (Communications and Information)
HQ 1 AF Civilian Cat II OTY: Dave Shaw (C&I)
HQ 1 AF Civilian Cat III OTY: Jon Crane (C&I)
The general closed his remarks with a few words about resiliency, considering how many enterprise members were significantly affected by Hurricane Michael which wrought destruction throughout Bay County Oct. 10, 2018.
“Hurricane Michael hit us hard,” he said. “And we are not yet whole – but we’re getting better. When I first stepped out of the 601st AOC after the storm, the destruction and despair I saw was overwhelming. But in true team fashion, we buckled down and worked through it all. We’re light years ahead of schedule, because of your resilience.”