Team Grissom brings home four Airfield Operations Awards

  • Published
  • By A1C Harrison Withrow
  • 434th ARW

The 434th Operations Support Squadron upheld its tradition of excellence in 2019 as it claimed four of Air Force Reserve Command’s annual airfield operations awards, including the Lima Site 85 Team of the Year award.

The Lima Site 85 award recognizes exceptional RADAR, airfield, and weather systems teams and honors the 12 Airmen who died defending the Lima Site 85 radar facility during the Vietnam War.

The other three awards went to Grissom’s Air Traffic Controllers, including the D. Ray Hardin award for best ATC facility of the year. Jason Bauer, 434th OSS controller, won the Air Traffic Control Watch Supervisor of the Year award, and Brandon Rockman, 434th OSS controller, won the Civilian Air Traffic Controller of the Year award.

“Bauer’s knowledge and experience were invaluable throughout this last year,” said Col. Larry Shaw, 434th Air Refueling Wing commander. “His performance and professionalism exceed the normal expectations of any supervisor, setting the standard for others to follow.”

Bauer coordinated traffic routes and altitudes for the 2019 Grissom Air and Space Expo, and his plans worked perfectly and without incident, said Shaw. He also greatly improved the manning of the ATC facility by fully qualifying three new controllers in less than half the allotted time.

Bauer’s resource management was exemplary, Shaw added, and he was able to ensure mission accomplishment and smooth traffic flows which addressing a 200% increase in air traffic.

Rockman also received high praise from Shaw for his performance.

“He’s routinely commended by pilots and management,” said Shaw. “He is highly respected among his teammates, and is consistently consulted for his expertise.

“He is an invaluable asset to the air traffic control team, and to the 434th ARW,” he added.

Grissom’s ATC team had several other notable accomplishments for the year, including safely rerouting aircraft through heavy taxiway construction with zero incidents, resolving air traffic conflicts during Operation Inherent Resolve, and fully certifying 9 new ATC employees.

“These units and individuals exemplify dedication to duty and commitment to excellence,” said Brig. General Matthew Burger, Air Force Reserve Command director of air, space, and information operation. “I congratulate the winners for their demonstrated exceptional service to their communities and the United States Air Force.”