For Immediate Release
April 14, 2010
Air Force Association Salutes 2010 Team of the Year
Arlington, VA – The Air Force Association (AFA) today announced the Air Force Remotely Piloted Aircraft Sensor Operators are being honored as AFA’s 2010 Team of the Year.
Five selected Sensor Operators, representing the over 500 in their career field, will receive the award on April 19, 2010, at a ceremony in the Washington, D.C., area as part of a well-earned four-day program that includes visits with Air Force Leaders at the Pentagon and a visit with each team member’s congressman on Capitol Hill.
Each year the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, along with the major command-level command chief master sergeants, selects a specific Air Force career field for this recognition. The individual members then selected within that career field are professionals who clearly display superior technical expertise, attract the praise of their superiors and provide leadership and inspiration to others. Historically, the Team of the Year award is for an enlisted career field.
“The sensor operators for Remotely Piloted Aircraft are vitally important to the Air Force’s mission. The Air Force Association is proud to recognize Remotely Piloted Aircraft sensor operators as the 2010 Team of the Year,” said Joe Sutter, Chairman of the Board for AFA. “Each Remotely Piloted Aircraft takes a team of highly skilled Airmen. This career field deserves this recognition, and these five have stood out in particular to their peers and commanders for their excellent work.”
“These five have done a great job in a growing and still relatively new career field,” said Mike Dunn, President of AFA. “The Remotely Piloted Aircraft sensor operators are essential to the success of many operations. These aircraft have many functions, and will only grow in importance as the technology develops. Real-time intelligence is available to our commanders because of their work, and that saves lives. We appreciate the 2010 Team of the Year for their example of excellence.”
AFA will pay tribute to these Airmen and their important contribution to the Air Force at the Team of the Year Awards Reception at the Key Bridge Marriot in Arlington, Va.
The recipients of the 2010 Team of the Year Award are as follows:
- Master Sergeant John L. Allen distinguished himself as Superintendent, Director of Programs and MQ-1B Sensor Operator, 3rd Special Operations, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. Sergeant Allen expertly flew 212 hours in support of combatant commanders. In this capacity, he was instrumental to the elimination of 18 enemy combatants, the capture of 12 high value individuals and the detention of 41 Al-Qaida forces. The removal of these terrorists has saved many United States service members’ lives and furthered the national initiative. Responsible for a $15 million dollar military contract, he was instrumental to the development of the Dragon Operations Center, which has delivered constant intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance pressure to enemies abroad. Furthermore, as the Superintendent, Director of Programs, he is responsible for the wellbeing and effective utilization of 130 enlisted Airmen—reporting directly to the squadron commander.
- Technical Sergeant Ryan Keith Carabajal distinguished himself as a MQ-1B Sensor Operator, 111th Reconnaissance Squadron, Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, Houston, Texas. He expertly coordinated more than 150 combat sorties, accumulating over 300 combat hours in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. He coordinated several troops-in-contact events improving coalition forces effectiveness in base defense and supported numerous raids for high value targets furthering stability in both theaters. Sergeant Carabajal provided 85 hours of full motion video to ground commanders, developing patterns of life intelligence for coalition combat operations. Additionally, he conducted armed intelligence, surveillance reconnaissance and force protection for three convoys, significantly contributing to the safety of the United States and the International Security Assistance Force.
- Master Sergeant Rich Jones distinguished himself as a Remotely Piloted Aircraft Sensor Operator, 78th Reconnaissance Squadron, Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. Sergeant Jones expertly led a team of 93 highly skilled sensor operators through daily combat operations in the Air Force’s first weaponized and only dual capable remotely piloted aircraft squadron. His ability to multi-task enabled him to fulfill additional duty first sergeant, operations superintendent and remotely piloted aircraft sensor operator instructor and flight examiner roles for his Reserve unit and the regular Air Force.
- Abbey L. Korovich distinguished herself as MQ-1B/MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft Sensor Operator, 17th Reconnaissance Squadron, 432nd Operations Group, 432nd Wing, 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing, Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. Airman Korovich flew 230 combat support sorties, amassing 652 hours of armed reconnaissance, prosecuting 921 targets, while relentlessly pursuing Al-Qaeda and Taliban. She personally targeted five enemy compounds by guiding seven weapons during a complex multi-ship attack, destroying twenty-one anti-coalition militants. She briefed MQ-9 tactics to the Assistant Secretary of Defense/Special Operations Low-Intensity Conflict, showcasing Remotely Piloted Aircraft capabilities to the national level decision maker. Finally, her leadership culminated in her being selected as the 432nd Wing Airman of the Year for 2009.
- Senior Airman Jon Turney distinguished himself as MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft Instructor Sensor Operator, 29th Attack Squadron, 49th Operations Group, 49th Fighter Wing, Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. Airman Turney flew 364 instructional hours during formal training unit surge operations, resulting in 92 qualified MQ-9 Sensor Operators ready to join overseas contingency operations and support the stand-up of additional MQ-9 combat air patrols. He personally created an MQ-9 Community of Practice, providing real-time and easily accessible Remotely Piloted Aircraft data to users Air Force wide. In addition, he assisted with creating a new draft of Air Force Tactics, Techniques and Procedures 3-1 for the MQ-9, affecting operations Air Force wide. Finally, his technical and leadership skills earned him the 29th Attack Squadron Airman of the Year for 2009.
The AFA is a 501(C)(3), nonprofit organization promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation. AFA has over 200 chapters nationally and internationally representing 120,000 members. Visit AFA www.AFA.org.
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