Articles, Blog

Awards Ceremony, 2019 Air, Space & Cyber Conference


– This is not April Fools’,
these are real awards. Could I get Matt Donovan,
our Acting Secretary, to join me onstage, as
well as our Chief of Staff, General Goldfein, and
our Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Chief Wright. (dramatic orchestral music) (audience applauding) (dramatic orchestral music) I’d like to begin today
by announcing a new and very special award. Throughout our Air Force
communities, we are blessed to have a dedicated
corps of civilian leaders who support our bases, and all of us while we live in their communities. They are vocal supporters of our mission, they are also welcoming,
they feed us, they greet us. Before dating apps, they introduced us to young ladies and young women, and they are really the important people in our lives at many bases. As a result, there are
many lifelong friendships between these community leaders
and many in the Air Force, and today, we have another award, and that is named for Parker
Greene and his wife, Lucy. Lucy, would you care to
come up at this point? (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) So, for decades, Parker
Greene and his wife, Dr. Lucy Greene, took care of all of us who passed through Moody
Air Force Base, and Lucy, through the Parker Greene
Award, we seek to honor Parker and all of those like Parker
and you, who have made enduring and significant contributions
to the Air Force, to our airmen, to our
families, and the community. Now, General Goldfein,
please step to the podium to make some remarks. – Well, thanks, sir. Many of us in this room
know Parker Greene, but I wanna share with you my
favorite Parker Greene story. So, sometime ago, he was riding
in a car with the Governor, and it was pouring down rain, and as they’re driving down this road, there’s a little lady pushing
a child’s carriage, a buggy, in the rain, just all hunkered
over and a big hood up, and the rain’s pouring down on
her, and only Parker Greene, as he could say, he looked
at the Governor, he says, “Governor, what a shame
that that poor woman “has gotta walk in the
rain with her buggy. “Don’t you think it’d be nice “if we could have a sidewalk
that she could walk on?” (audience laughing) The Governor, the next day,
wrote a check for a sidewalk on that entire road. So here’s the question. Dr. Lucy, how much did he pay you to push that buggy in the rain? (audience laughing) – [Lucy] Never tell. – (laughs) So we have a little short video to honor just an incredible legend and one of the best friends
of our United States Air Force in our history, and so, if you
would, please roll the video. – [Man] Oh, his legacy,
it’s already written. Never met a stranger, always
had a smile on his face. And if you didn’t like pecans,
you didn’t like Parker. – [Man] Parker Greene makes
us want to be better men and women, to live up to a
higher standard, to love and care for airmen as much as he did, and to give with no expectation of
getting anything in return. – Parker was the patriarch, I think, of Moody Air Force Base. I think that Moody Air
Force Base is here, still, because of Parker. – Parker Greene was my
friend, and he was a friend to thousands and thousands
of thousands of other people, both in our Air Force and out. Every airman he met, he did something for. I have no idea how much
money he and Ms. Lucy spent taking care of airmen and their families. I have no idea how many people
he took to lunch, or dinner, or breakfast, or he sent
peanuts to, or Vidalia onions, which he sent to me the first time I ever talked to him on the phone. – Parker set the example
for the way communities and Air Force Bases, military
bases, should come together and work together as
a team, and I can say, sitting here today, that
Moody Air Force Base might not be here if it
hadn’t been for Parker Greene and Ms. Lucy, because they
work themselves continually through BRAC, over base closures. We will never really understand the impact that Parker and Luce Greene had. – I’m not sure we can measure
the full impact that he had on Moody Air Force Base
other than the fact that Moody Air Force Base
is still here, is thriving, and it has a constant,
very important mission for our nation. He was key to keeping this base
alive and key to everything that’s going on here at
Moody Air Force Base. – [Man] So thank you
so much for allowing me to be part of a celebration
of life of an incredible man, who makes us all want to be better men. May God bless this nation we love, and men like Parker
Greene, who teach us all what a life of service,
well lived, really means. Thank you. (audience applauding) – At this point, I’d like
to, as soon as we do this, offer Lucy a few moments at the podium. Let’s do this first. – [Announcer] Parker and
Lucy Greene have been among the most influential civic leaders and advocates the Air
Force has ever known. He was a leader, an airpower
advocate, and a trusted counsel of other senior leaders across
the Air Force and government. As respected and influential
liaison and spokespeople, they constantly worked with
communities, the Air Force, and our military across local, state, and federal government levels. For over four decades, they
increased national awareness and understanding of the Air Force’s role in national security, and helped build vitally
important grassroots support for its people and their mission. Their dominant message
to every Air Force leader they encountered was,
what can we do for you? The Air Force Association
takes great pride in presenting the first W.
Parker Greene Legacy Award to Dr. Lucy Greene. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) – I love you all for
what you do every day. I want to share this award,
I have so many people who have helped us over the years, and Parker would be
embarrassed and humbled, and I’m excited and honored, and I’m sorry that he’s not here with
us, but I thank you from the bottom of my heart,
and I need to ask some of you to join me today in setting
this award in place. I want Commander Walls and Commander Birch and their airmen from Moody Air Force Base to stand with me, please. (audience applauding) Then I’d like our mayor, just
stay up, if you will, please. and Mayor Gayle from Valdosta who represents our local administration. Stay up, John, if you will, please. (audience applauding) Members of the Moody
Support Group who are here scattered about, would you please stand? Larry, stand. Thank you so much. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) And now, I want to have all
the people who are members of support committees across the country, supporting our brave airman
all across this great nation, would you please stand with me? (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Wait now, stay up because we’re gonna join with some other people, please,
and then I want all those who have commanded Moody, and
all those who have ever served at Moody, to please stand. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Now all those who have ever
served in the Air Force or are serving presently in
the Air Force, with spouses and families and industrial partners, as we support the world’s
greatest air, space, and cyber force, dominant,
let’s stand together. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) – Okay, well, I really
want to thank all of you in the audience who are community leaders. You really are essential,
and we really appreciate, from AFA and an Air Force
perspective, all that you do. Now, we’re going to go on
to the rest of the program, and I’m gonna turn this over to the giant voice that is offstage. – [Announcer] Will Mrs. Olamarie Sheen, Mr. Brian Baumgartner,
and Ms. Connie Davis please come forward? Mrs. Sheen served with distinction
by fulfilling the duties of both the Air Operations Center and the Major Command’s
Security Manager position for an unprecedented 11 months. She demonstrated expertise and skill with an extremely rare perfect score on a National Security Agency inspection, validating her management of the United States Air Forces in Europe, commander’s highest security
program, and earning praise as a top security manager globally. Mr. Baumgartner’s exceptional
leadership was instrumental to the 25-year extension
of the Trident missile, where he led 15 personnel
and executed 12 sorties. Mr. Baumgartner’s unrelenting pursuit of maintenance excellence,
coordinating the efforts of two bases and 10 aircraft, drove the largest F-15C/E upgrade ever, worth 5.9 billion dollars. Ms. Davis expertly led a team of highly skilled aircraft
technicians and support personnel in a world-class maintenance organization focused on process improvement,
and ensuring the warfighter receives an outstanding
quality product on time. In addition to her outstanding
career achievements, Ms. Davis is a tireless
contributor to the improvement of women’s health and
professional status in her role as club president of the local
Zonta International Club. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Civilian of the Year
Award to Ms. Connie Davis for Outstanding Senior Manager, Mr. Brian Baumgartner for
Outstanding Program Manager, and Ms. Olamarie Sheen for
Outstanding Program Specialist. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Mr. Leroy Coe please come forward? Mr. Coe developed a complex, four-billion-dollar program
budget covering 34 projects. He successfully championed a
military construction project for a state-of-the-art analysis
and exploitation facility eliminating critical overcrowding. Additionally, he laid out a
plan for 94 million dollars to enhance technical signals
intelligence production and freed 78 million dollars
of trade space for innovation. Finally, Mr. Coe mentored
five Air Force PEMs, ensuring they have the necessary
knowledge and confidence to defend their programs. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Lisa S. Disbrow Outstanding
Civilian of the Year Award to Mr. Leroy Coe Pentagon, Virginia. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Mrs. Elizabeth DuBe
please come forward? Mrs. DuBe personified service
before self in her efforts to better the Air Force
community within Okinawa, and served over 19,000 airmen, families, and local residents. Her efforts led to $117,000
in donations across Okinawa with direct support of those in need. Mrs. DuBe touched the lives
of countless personnel across the Basin community, and she single-handedly saved the life of an airman contemplating suicide. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Joan Orr Spouse of the Year Award to Mrs. Elizabeth DuBe, Air Force Special Operations Command. Her spouse is Lieutenant
Colonel Patrick DuBe, 17th Special Operations
Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Allen, Master Sergeant Kyle Wilson,
Ms. Jean-Anne Butler, and Mr. Matthew Bradesca
please come forward? This award recognizes
airmen for outstanding and innovative contributions
that had the greatest impact in international affairs
and were most effective in building, sustaining, expanding, and guiding international relationships. These are critical enablers
for the United States Air Force Expeditionary Air and Space Forces conducting global operation. The winners are officer,
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Allen, enlisted, Master Sergeant Kyle Wilson, senior civilian, Jean-Anne Butler, and junior civilian, Matthew Bradesca. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Major Alexander
Goldberg please come forward? Major Goldberg led the design,
development, and launch of Guardian, a next-generation, web-based, multi-domain, C2 geospatial application that enables the two-way collaboration across all echelons of command. With all government-owned source
code, this non-proprietary, modular, open architecture system allows decision-makers real-time sharing. Within the last six months,
Guardian has been adopted as the best-of-breed C2
platform by over 250 federal, state, and local government agencies. The Air Force Association proudly presents the General Larry O.
Spencer Innovation Award, individual category, to
Major Alexander Goldberg, Austin, Texas. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Colonel Enrique Oti and
his team please come forward? Kessel Run will be receiving two awards. Kessel Run modernizes command, control, and intelligence capabilities,
enhancing combat lethality across the Department of Defense. The team executes more
than 18 applications in Section 804 rapid fielding efforts to continuously deliver
war-winning software. They revolutionize how
the Air Force builds and delivers software, charting groundbreaking
commercial applications, forging new acquisition,
talent management, recruiting, organizational construct, and software development processes, and leveraging cloud-native technology to build a software company
to sense and to respond to conflict in any
domain anytime, anywhere. The Air Force Association proudly presents the General Larry O.
Spencer Innovation Award, team category, and the
Theodore von Karman Award for most outstanding contribution
to science and engineering to Kessel Run, Hanscom Air
Force Base, Massachusetts. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Captain Ryan Perhala and
Senior Airman Darius Rivera please come forward? Captain Perhala led
weapon school instruction, totaling 459 sorties, enabling integration across four major commands, including the first
F-35A/MQ-9 integration. His efforts have increased
the combat effectiveness of the remotely piloted
aircraft enterprise. These initiatives include emerging kinetic and non-kinetic capabilities and tactics, operational flight program development, and weapons and weapons carriage
enhancements to the MQ-9, optimizing MQ-9 capability to provide multi-domain persistent attack, supporting commanders. Sergeant Sjoholm, who
is not with us today, led 210 personnel to
overcome a manning shortfall, surged MQ-9 operations 25%,
executed 18,600 combat hours, and struck 108 targets to defeat the Islamic
State of Iraq and Syria. Furthermore, he deployed to the AFCENT Combined
Combined Air Operations Center as MQ-9 LNO oversaw 33 combat lines coordinated the first
ever MQ-9 strike package with Iraqi F-16Ses and
expanded air tasking orders driven strikes for more MQ-9s by 500%. Airman Rivera expertly
provided intelligence analysis and mission assessments to 165 aircrew. Furthermore, he developed
186 high-value individuals representing 103 strikes
and the elimination of 167 Islamic State of
Iraq and Syria members. Moreover, his efforts
to utilize new research and analysis tools directly
impacted intelligence support to MQ-9S, increasing the unit’s ability to find, fix, track, and
target enemy personnel, and saving over 8,000 hours of research. The Air Force Association proudly presents the General John P. Jumper Award to pilot, Captain Ryan Perhala, sensor operator, Senior Master Sergeant Joshua Sjoholm, and mission intelligence coordinator, Senior Airman Darius Rivera. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will the President of General
Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Mr. Dave Alexander, please come forward? Will the representatives of the 33rd Special Operations Squadron please come forward? The gryphons flew 900 persistent attack and reconnaissance combat missions, totaling 14,500 flight hours while being the remotely
piloted aviation community’s first proportionally undermanned squadron. They eliminated over 500 of the nation’s most dangerous
targets across five theaters and benchmarked a 98% success
rate over 200 strikes. In conjunction with their
unique reorganization internal to United States
Special Operations Command, the gryphons added six
mission certifications and increased training by 350%. The Air Force Association proudly presents General Atomics Remotely Piloted Aircraft Squadron of the Year Award to the 33rd Special Operations Squadron, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) General Atomics and its
affiliated companies have a long record of
advocating for STEM education and supporting and promoting
aerospace education. The General Atomics Sciences
Education Foundation funds nonprofit STEM
organizations, such as TutorMate and develops educational
resources accessible to the local community and worldwide. General Atomics Energy Group
developed a fusion education and outreach program to
educate students, parents, and teachers on the STEM
elements that support research and development of fusion energy. General Atomics Aeronautical
Systems Incorporated, an electromagnetic systems group, fund and support
university-level STEM programs specializing in aeronautics,
astronautics, robotics, and cyber-related subjects. We applaud General Atomics
and affiliated companies for their extensive commitment
to aerospace education. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Citation of Honor to General Atomics and its affiliated companies. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Major General Mark
Smith please come forward? Civil Air Patrol executes
numerous programs in support of its aerospace
education mission. Their aerospace connections
and education program provides engaging and meaningful cross-curricular aerospace-themed lessons that support STEM initiatives and enrich the school curricula. Lastly, CAP has started the
Youth Aviation Initiative in response to the
worldwide pilot shortage and to spark interest
in and to call attention to aviation and aerospace career programs. In 2018, CAP flew a record 35,316 cadets from Civil Air Patrol, the
Air Force Junior ROTC program, and the Air Force ROTC. Thanks to CAP’s efforts,
hundreds of cadets now solo and receive private pilot
licenses every year. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Hoyt S. Vandenberg Award
for outstanding accomplishments in aerospace education
to Civil Air Patrol. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Thank you, Secretary
Donovan, General Goldfein, and Chief Wright for your assistance. Will General Mike Holmes
please come forward to assist with the presentations
of the next awards? Will Captain Kevin Rose and
his crew please come forward? The crew of Fix 74 demonstrated
superior airmanship as part of the 21st Expeditionary
Reconnaissance Squadron, conducting sustained combat support and sensitive reconnaissance
operation for coalition forces in support of US CENTCOM and USCOM. Their outstanding performance ensure dedicated airborne
intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance coverage
which was paramount to the execution of the coalition strike on multiple Syrian
chemical weapons production and storage facilities. Often operating in austere
conditions under actual IFR, at facilities under fire
and without the aid of tower or air traffic control guidance, the crew consistently found solutions to off-the-book problems. At other times, the crew
performed their duties under imminent threat from
surface-to-air missiles. The tenacity and determination
of the crew of Fix 74 enabled them to execute joint
intelligence preparation of the operational environment. The unwavering and relentless
commitment of the crew to practice sound judgment
while taking necessary risk for the sake of our allies and
the United States of America reflects a distinctive and
prestigious accomplishment on themselves, the 21sters, and
the United States Air Force. The Air Force Association proudly presents the General Jerome F.
O’Malley Award to the crew of Fix 74, Offutt Air
Force Base, Nebraska. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Major Jeffrey Entine
please come forward? While deployed, Major
Entine led 75 combat flights in the F-16 and successfully
employed 43 weapons, including seven engagements under, quote, dangerous close, unquote, conditions. He revolutionized laser
racket tactics, techniques, and procedures, doubling
the F-16’s hit rate, and enabling 148
successful combat strikes. Finally, Major Entine
guided the F-16 division through 250 test sorties, bringing combat air force
capabilities forward three to five years. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Lieutenant General
Claire Lee Chennault Award to Major Jeffrey Entine,
Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. (people cheering) (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Captain Dan English and
crew please come forward? The professionalism,
knowledge, and technical skills of Crew 8 was instrumental
in defeating adversaries in the AOR. During this period, Crew 8 supported command
and control operations as well as provided dynamic
intelligence collection and warning for an air operation center covering two areas of responsibility. Additionally, Crew 8 detected
ground and surface movement during Operations Inherent Resolve and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Crew 8 dynamically employed their aircraft and ensured collection assets were safely and efficiently positioned to support combatant
commander’s objectives. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Airborne Battle Management
Crew of the Year Award to the 128th ACCS Combat Crew 8, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Thank you, General Holmes
for your assistance. Will General Maryanne
Miller please come forward to assist with the
presentation of the next award? Will Captain Victoria Perkins and her crew please come forward? Python 61 distinguished themselves by demonstrating outstanding performance while participating in aerial flight in support of Operation
Freedom’s Sentinel. While acting as a secure radio relay, the crew refueled an AC-130 in support of a downed helicopter. The crew’s dynamic
response and swift action allowed safe recovery of
11 downed crew members. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Brigadier General Ross Hoyt Award to the crew of Python 61,
McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Thank you, General Miller. Will General Arnold Bunch,
Jr. please come forward to assist with the presentation
of the next awards? Will Colonel Jason Bartolomei
please come forward to receive two awards? Colonel Bartolomei provided
strategic direction to the 83-billion-dollar ground-based Strategic Deterrent Acquisition
Category ID program, replacing the Minuteman-III intercontinental ballistic missile. He was instrumental in creating a new model-based
system engineering tools, thus allowing the government to own the technical
baseline through 2075. Finally, Colonel Bartolomei
directed the first-ever cost capability trade studies
to ensure the best value for the Air Force Global
Strike Command capabilities development document. For these outstanding contributions, the Air Force Association proudly present the AFMC Management
Award, executive division, and the General Larry D.
Welch Award, officer category, to Colonel Jason Bartolomei,
Hill Air Force Base, Utah. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Thank you, General Bunch. (dramatic orchestral music) Will General Timothy
Ray please come forward to assist with the presentation
of the next awards? Will Senior Master
Sergeant Thomas Podgorski please come forward? Sergeant Podgorski executed the duties of wing weapons manager
for an eight-month period. His exemplary leadership was apparent as he led 141 airmen during the 2018 Unit
Effectiveness Inspection, where the weapons load
training was recognized as a strength by the
Inspector General team, and directly contributed
to the wing’s best results in Air Force Global
Strike Command history. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Larry D. Welch
Award, enlisted category, to Senior Master Sergeant Podgorski, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Mr. Scott Bagnell
please come forward? Mr. Bagnell supported
the nuclear enterprise by organizing the infrastructure for the squadron’s two-million-dollar secure compartmentalized
information facility for the network migration to
a new headquarters facility. Further, he developed a
software application to support the intercontinental
ballistic missile targeting’s operation plan revisions. Further, he led the information
assurance coordination of targeting system software
development in support of seven operational intercontinental ballistic missile test launches worth 186 million dollars. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Larry D. Welch
award, enlisted category, to Scott Bagnell, Offutt
Air Force Base, Nebraska. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Lieutenants Van
Heusen and Jedediah Simpson please come forward? Lieutenants Van Heusen
and Simpson led the wing with 1272 alert hours at
the alternate command post. Additionally, their performance during Exercise Olympic
Flag 2018 provided 63 hours of simulated combat
operations, which resulted in 22 items and lessons Learned for the 724th Air Force Missileers. The Air Force Association proudly presents the General Thomas S. Power award for the most outstanding missile crew to Lieutenants Austin Van
Heusen and Jedediah Simpson, FE Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Thank you, General Ray,
for your assistance. Will Lieutenant General Jay
Silverio please come forward to assist with the next presentation? Will US Air Force Academy
Cadet Gordon McCulloh please come forward? Cadet McCulloh was ranked
18 out of 1,007 in academics for the class of 2020. He excelled in academic,
military, and physical performance with perfect military inspection scores. He earned a 3.91 grade point average while traveling the globe
perfecting his minor in the Arabic language. He researched hybrid rocket propulsion through the integration of
the Einstein Energy Theory as a Stamps scholar. The United State the Air Force
Association proudly presents the USAFA Cadet of the Year Award to Cadet Gordon McCulloh. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Thank you, General Silveria. Will Lieutenant General Brad
Webb please come forward to assist with the presentation
of the next awards? Will Cadet Savannah Johnson
please come forward? Cadet Johnson is a sustained
superior performer, recognized leader, scholar, and volunteer. She is ranked as the top
cadet in her graduating class at her detachment, and ranked
in the top 10% nationwide for grades and fitness. Cadet Johnson’s incredible
drive was recognized when she earned distinguished
graduate laurels at field training,
finishing in the top 1%. A respected leader, she instills
confidence in her peers, makes sound decisions to
improve cadet wing morale, and builds strong future
officers in the process. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Air Force ROTC Cadet of the Year Award to Cadet Savannah Johnson,
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Cadet Sydney Cloutier
please come forward? Cadet Cloutier showed inspiring leadership throughout the last year. She was the varsity volleyball
captain as a junior, a first for Pensacola High
School, she was president of the English National Honor Society, co-president of the Science
National Honor Society, and had a 4.72 weighted GPA, getting her into the top 5% of her class. She is also a member of Kitty Hawk, the American Rocketry
Challenge, Stellar Explorers, and the Academic Bowl. She also volunteers
weekly to teach, inspire, and mentor underprivileged
children, and she is the leader of her county’s Backpack
Project, which provides meals for 537 Title I students weekly. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Air Force Junior ROTC
Cadet of the Year Award to Cadet Sydney Cloutier. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Thank you, General Webb. Will Rolls-Royce North American
President and CEO Tom Bell please come forward? AFA is honored to thank Rolls-Royce for its platinum sponsorship of our aerospace education programs, including the coveted
Teacher of the Year program. Mr. Bell will now announce and introduce this year’s award recipient. – Everybody, and thank you
for joining us this morning. I’m thrilled and honored
to represent Rolls-Royce in front of you today to
discuss this important topic, and also give the voice of
God a well-deserved break. (people laughing) We all know the importance
of STEM education. Preparing the engineers, scientists, and leaders of tomorrow
is crucial for all of us, for the Air Force, for the
AFA, for our very nation. And of course, STEM is
critical for Rolls-Royce, too. We are engaged in advanced
research in digital engineering, electrification,
hypersonics, directed energy, and many other important subjects. That’s why Rolls-Royce is so proud to support AFA’s aerospace
education programs, and proud to be the exclusive sponsor of AFA’s National Teacher
of the Year program. All of us here have probably
had some educator in our life who propelled us to where we are today. Maybe it was a teacher
who was so inspiring that their presence has stuck with us, or one who encouraged us
when we needed it most, at a difficult point in
our educational journey. Maybe it was an educator
whose teaching techniques were so exciting and interesting, they changed the course of
our studies, our career, in fact, our lives. This year’s AFA National
Teacher of the Year, Michael Vargas, is such a teacher. Mr. Vargas, a ninth grade physics teacher from Pinnacle High School
in Phoenix, Arizona, has been inspiring students for 19 years. Here’s what some of
those inspired students have to say about him. From Caitlin, a sophomore
at Pinnacle High School, Mr. Vargas was an amazing
and inspiring teacher. Every day was filled with
learning in a fun way. He was an outstanding teacher,
and with his enthusiasm, he inspired each of his students
to find a love of physics. From Kalib, a senior at Pinnacle. Mr. Vargas has opened up
new possibilities for me, and helped me realize my full potential in science and leadership. And finally, from sophomore Mackenzie, Mr. Vargas has been the
best teacher I’ve ever had. He made learning more than
just reading from a textbook. Mr. Vargas and his amazing
teaching took my worries away and proved I could do it. Mr. Vargas is, by far, the
best teacher on campus. And now, the AFA’s National
Teacher of the Year from Pinnacle High School
in Phoenix, Arizona, Mr. Michael Vargas. Would you please stand and be recognized? (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Thank you for this opportunity
to support teachers throughout the United States. Have a great Air, Space
and Cyber Conference. – [Announcer] Mr. Bell, thanks
to you and to Rolls-Royce for your very generous and
continuing contributions. Will Lieutenant General Richard
Scobee please come forward to assist with the presentation
of the next awards? Will Major Sonja Demuth and Karen Anderson please come forward? Major Demuth deployed on the Air and Space Operations
Center’s strategy staff, filling a short notice tasking. Major Demuth identified staff deficiencies and drove an effort to better integrate appropriate intelligence skill
sets into staff positions, providing relevant intelligence
to operational support for space-focused electronic
warfare units in theater. With her deployment,
Miss Karen M. Anderson recognized 10-member team, excuse me, reorganized a 10-member team. Through Mrs. Anderson’s
efforts, Major Anderson was able to focus on performing her duties, providing relevant intelligence
to operational Support for space-focused
electronic units in theater. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Air Force Reserve Citizen Airman and Employer of the Year
Award to Major Sonya Demuth, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, and Karen Anderson, Lockheed Martin Space. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Master Sergeant Peter
Thompson please come forward? With the cooperation of his
employer, Sergeant Thompson was able to fill a
first sergeant shortfall by serving 179 days. During that time, he was
responsible for 240 students, 20 cadre, and 49 assigned personnel. His team successfully built
1,000 bombs with 91% accuracy. He guided his team through
three Iron Flag exercises, thus driving the success of DoD’s largest explosive operations. As first sergeant, he managed MWR dollars for base morale events, thus
enhancing the quality of life for his team. His sustained efforts across five MAJCOMS exceeded previous combat
operation standards. His employer, Robert Burton, warden of the Deuel
Vocational Institution, California Department of Corrections, provided commendable support to the 940th Maintenance
Squadron, First Sergeant, Master Sergeant Peter
Thompson, when he was requested for a short notice manning assignment. Through Warden Burton’s efforts,
Master Sergeant Thompson was able to focus on performing his duties as First Sergeant, Air Force
Combat Communications Center. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Air Force Reserve Citizen Airman Award and Employer of the Year award to Master Sergeant Peter Thompson, Beale Air Force Base,
California and to Robert Burton, Warden, Deuel Vocational Institution, California Department of Corrections. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Captain Charles
Phelps please come forward? Captain Phelps was selected to command the first
A-10 mission in six years from Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan, less than 24 hours after
aircraft arrived in theater. He flew 43 Operation Resolute Support and Inherent Resolve combat
sorties that resulted in 12 enemies killed in action. His attention to detail prevented
a friendly fire incident, which saved lives and
averted collateral damage. As a tactical communications expert, he restored satellite
communication and antennas which enabled and
reduced mission stoppage. A two-time company grade
officer and pilot of the year, he was selected for a
2019 Weapons School slot. The Air Force Association proudly presents the President’s Award to
Captain Charles Phelps, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Colonel Sean Carpenter
and the rest of his team please come forward? The 926th Wing achieved
an outstanding degree of multi-domain support while
associating with nine wings, five major commands, and
eight combatant commands. By providing high-end total force fighter and remotely piloted aircraft,
space, command, control, test, tactics, training,
support, and combat operations. The 926th Wing warriors
led 52 Red Flag exercises in various capacities and
were subject matter experts for the entirety of the
Air Force fighter aircraft. They were engaged in
around-the-clock combat operations, which resulted in over
15,000 combat missions flown and 74 enemy combatants killed in action. And they aligned with the Secretary of the Air Force’s historic decision to train the enlisted
pilots since World War II. The wing also provided
critical humanitarian support during Hurricane Irma, saving five lives. The Air Force Association proudly presents the AFRC Unit of the Year
Award to the 926th Wing, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. (exciting rock music)
(audience applauding) Will Lieutenant Colonel
John Stahl and his team please come forward? The men and women of the 706th provided core subject matter
expertise to Nellis’ mission of operational test, tactics development and next generation training, fielding over eight billion
dollars of capabilities and upgrades to the combat air forces. The team also led the integration
of these new capabilities into six Joint Chiefs of
Staff-directed exercises, improving the capabilities
of over 3,600 units throughout the Department of Defense. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Citation of Honor to
the 706th Fighter Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. (exciting rock music)
(audience applauding) Thank you, General Scobee. Will Lieutenant General Scott
Rice please come forward to assist with the presentation
of the next awards? Will Master Sergeant Kaisha Gurtner-Hatton please come forward? Sergeant Gurtner-Hatton’s
innovative leadership optimized training and
productivity for 56 members across two weapons shops. She overhauled the
sections training program by reorganizing over 350 qualifications. Additionally, she expertly
streamlined the management, tracking, and execution
of maintenance processes for 485 weapons equipment items, decreasing discrepancies by 90%. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Chief Master Sergeant Dick Red Award to Master Sergeant Kaisha Gurtner-Hatton, 140th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Colorado Air National Guard. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Colonel Christopher
Blomquist and his team please come forward? The 148th Fighter Wing flew
2,518 sorties for 5,971 hours while exceeding aircraft
mission capability and pilot mission capable rate. They deployed 43% of their personnel in support of Operations Inherent Resolve and Freedom’s Sentinel. Despite intense deployment taskings, the 148th contributed 6,225
hours of community service, maintained a 93.19% retention rate, and enjoyed its 18th consecutive year of exceeding 100% end strength. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Air National Guard
Outstanding Unit of the Year Award to the 148th Fighter Wing,
Minnesota Air National Guard. (exciting rock music)
(audience applauding) Thank you, General Rice,
for your assistance. Will General Jeffrey
Harrigian please come forward to assist with the
presentation of the next award? Will Colonel Patricia
Shank please come forward on behalf of Lieutenant
Colonel Timothy Foster? While commander, Colonel Foster
generated 28 Block 50 F-16s, representing the European
command’s sole suppression of enemy air defense weapons system, resulting in an 86% mission-capable rate. Additionally, his team of
logisticians’ fueling efforts resulted in a 92% mission-capable rate, earning the 2018 American
Petroleum Institute’s best fuels management flight for United States Air Forces in Europe. Finally, the seasoned
logistician delivered on the Chief of Staff’s readiness sprint to eliminate readiness atrophy. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Thomas P. Gerrity Award to Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Foster, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. (exciting rock music)
(audience applauding) Thank you, General Harrigian. Will General Charles Hugh
Brown, Jr. please come forward to assist with the next awards? Will Staff Sergeant Brandon
Deem please come forward? Sergeant Deem was rated
number one of 556 crew chiefs. He trained and certified
14 new crew chiefs on 285 tasks. He was the commander’s
pick to lead austere field hot pit refueling operations
while leading a six-airman team to continuously refuel 16 aircraft. He led 24 airmen in
Operation Distant Frontier, labeling him a superior performer. In addition, he was the
commander’s top performer at Red Flag. Throughout all of his responsibilities, he takes great pride
in those he has trained and takes great pride in all
of his assigned aircraft. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Chief Master Sergeant
Thomas Barnes Award award to Staff Sergeant Brandon Deem, Kadena Air Base, Japan. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Captain Chelsea
Reams please come forward? The 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron led the first operational F-35A reception, placing fifth-generation
aircraft in the priority theater designated by the 2018
National Defense Strategy. Additionally, they were a centerpiece of the pressure campaign
against North Korea, culminating in supporting the
National Command Authority’s airborne platform during
the Joint Leader Summit. Finally, the squadron led the Special Operations
Forces deployment that saved the lives of a
12-member Thai youth soccer team. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Citation of Honor to
the 18th Logistics Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Captain Noah Policia
and Senior Airman Erica Shaw please come forward? The men and women of the 36th
Airlift Squadron were notified of the tasking to support
the multinational aid effort to assist Indonesia after
the earthquake and tsunami. They ferried earthquake
victims and stranded travelers to pre-positioned refugee camps on the island of Borneo for three weeks. By the end of their efforts,
the 36th Airlift Squadron would deliver 4.8 million
pounds of humanitarian aid. Preparations for their
redeployment were being made when a tropical depression in the center of the Pacific Ocean exploded into a Category 5 typhoon headed straight for the Commonwealth of the
Northern Mariana Islands. The 36th Airlift Squadron was re-tasked to support Indo-Pacific Command’s defense affected by Typhoon Yutu. Operating in concert with members of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, the Philippine Air Force, and the Royal Australian Air Force, the 36th Airlift Squadron
demonstrated the flexibility and rapid response provided
by tactical airlift. Operation Christmas Drop
concluded with donations to 20,000 people on 56 remote islands comprising the Northern Mariana Islands, Micronesia, and Palau. The Air Force Association proudly presents the BAVA Humanitarian
Mission of the Year Award to the 36th Airlift Squadron,
Yokota Air Base, Japan. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Thank you, General Brown. Will Lieutenant General James
Slife please come forward to assist with the next award? Will Colonel Terrence Taylor and his team please come forward? The 1st Special Operations
Group was responsible for the execution of 55,000 flight hours as part of a 330-million-dollar program. The group also spearheaded
the time-critical support to Tyndall Air Force Base
after Hurricane Michael. As the most deployed operations
group in the Air Force, the group flew over 6,000 combat missions, resulting in 1,650 enemy killed. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Secretary Verne Orr Award to the 1st Special Operations Group, Hurlburt Field, Florida. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Thank you, General Slife. Will General John Raymond
please come forward to assist with the presentation
of the next awards? And will Lieutenant Colonel
Kyle Beady please come forward? While deployed for the first 146 days of a 191-day deployment in support of Operations Freedom’s
Sentinel and Resolute Support, the crew was exposed to
significant risk of hostile action during multiple indirect fire attacks. They successfully executed the space electronic warfare
mission for 5,000 hours during 464 combat missions,
producing 10,472 combat effects and resulting in 1,189 enemy
combatants killed in action, 781 detained, and 4,811 items
of equipment and facilities collected or destroyed. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Best Space Operations Crew Award to Deployed Space
Electronics Warfare Crew, Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Lieutenant Colonel
William Birch and his team please come forward? The weapons and tactics flight
collected lessons learned from satellite campaigns and experiences while creating a first-of-a-kind tactics leading to the Air Force’s
first orbital engagement, AFTTP 3-1. The distinctive accomplishments of the weapons and tactics
team reflect great credit upon themselves and the
United States Air Force. The Air Force Association proudly presents the General George C. Kenney Award to the 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron Weapons and Tactics Flight. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Major David Dy please come forward? Major David Dy made
significant contributions to the continued good
health of the men and women of the United States Air Force
in the areas of readiness, better care, better
health, and lower cost. Major Dy epitomizes selflessness
and professional competence of the Air Force Medical Corps. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Paul W. Myers Award to Major David Dy, Joint Base San Antonio, Randolph, Texas. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Thank you, General Raymond. Will Major General Ricky
Rupp please come forward to assist with the next award? Will Captain Leslie Green
please come forward? Captain Leslie Green distinguished herself as flight commander,
Aeromedical Staging Facility. She directs 57 staff for the Air Force’s largest en
route patient staging system, launching and recovering 336 missions and 7,915 patients in attendance. Further, she serves as the consultant for aeromedical staging
facilities worldwide, is the patient safety manager, electronic health record manager, airfield disaster response team chief, and serves as the en route
staging system director for three major commands. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Juanita Redmond Award
to Captain Leslie Green, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Thank you, General Rupp. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Major General Michael
Brewer please come forward to assist with the
presentation of the next award? And will Colonel Martha Monroe
and the rest of her team please come forward? The Cyber Blue Book team expertly completed cyber
vulnerability assessments and documented hundreds of
potential vulnerabilities affecting 11 critical weapon systems valued at over 500 billion dollars. The team provided detailed
cyber analysis for integration into developmental and
operational test activities. Their final reports are distributed across the Air Force enterprise and effectively increased
the resiliency of air, space, intelligence, surveillance
and reconnaissance, global strike, and command and
control core weapon systems. The Air Force Association proudly presents the General Mark Welsh One Air Force Award to the Cyber Blue Book team. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Thank you, General Brewer. Will Chief Master Sergeant Shawn Drinkard please come forward to assist with the presentation of the next award? And will Colonel Frederick Coleman and Lieutenant Colonel Keith
Anderson please come forward? Colonels Coleman and Anderson
led all strategic planning at United States Central Command for Operation Inherent Resolve
to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. They represented the planning
nexus between Central Command, five service components, and
two subordinate headquarters. Their leadership of over
200 planners worldwide directly enabled all coalition operations to dismantle the Islamic State in Iraq and the Syrian Caliphate. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Citation of Honor to Colonel Coleman and Lieutenant Colonel Anderson, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Thank you, Chief. Will Lieutenant General Jeffrey
Rockwell please come forward to assist with the presentation
of our final award? Will Colonel Rebecca
Vernon, please come forward? Colonel Rebecca Vernon
distinguished herself throughout her 23 years
as a staff judge advocate, as a defense counsel instructor,
procurement attorney, professional development officer,
wing staff judge advocate, and now as the staff judge advocate to Air Force Special Operations Command. Colonel Vernon consistently
demonstrated excellence, initiative, leadership,
and professionalism in the practice of law. The Air Force Association proudly presents the Stuart R. Reichart Award
to Colonel Rebecca Vernon, Hurlburt Field, Florida. (dramatic orchestral music)
(audience applauding) Will Secretary Donovan, General Goldfein, and Chief Wright please
join Chairman Peters onstage for a special ribbon-cutting ceremony? I would also call forward
our generous sponsors to join us onstage to announce the opening of the 2019 Air, Space,
and Cyber Conference Technology Exposition. (dramatic orchestral music) Mr. Secretary, would you do the honors? (suspenseful drum roll) (dramatic orchestral music) Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Please enjoy lunch in the Technology
Exposition Hall downstairs. Speaker sessions will resume at 1 o’clock.

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