Grissom Airmen recognized during 2020 annual awards banquet

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  • 434th ARW Public Affairs

Each year, time is set aside to recognize Grissom Airmen who embody the Air Force’s core values to the fullest extent through their actions and commitment to duty.

The 434th Air Refueling Wing annual award winners for 2020 received their awards during a ceremony and banquet held at Grissom’s base dining facility Feb. 6.

“There is no shortage of great people that just happen to be here,” said Chief Master Sgt. Nathan Parks, 434th ARW command chief. “I’m proud to be able to go up and represent the 434th ARW Airmen at 4th Air Force’s annual awards board.”

The 434th ARW Annual Award winners for 2020 were:

Civilian Non-Supervisor of the Year -- Gower Vincent, 434th Security Forces Squadron.

Vincent was recognized for providing security for then Vice President Mike Pence’s arrival and departure, securing assets in excess of $3 billion with no incidents and 100 percent mission success.

Serving as a shift armorer, he issued and received more than 300 weapons and 11,000 rounds of ammunition to 58 shift personnel equipped for duty.

Civilian Supervisor of the Year -- Richard Fuller, 434th SFS.

Fuller lead a property theft investigation, working with the Miami County Sheriff’s department, to recover $140,000 in stolen Air Force assets.

He also conducted a joint security detail with the Secret Service for a Vice President Pence visit by fortifying the motorcade route.

Airmen of the Year -- Senior Airmen Noah Nicholls, 434th ARW.

As an intelligence journeyman, Nicholls provided critical support for 70 strikes and pushed critical data to U.S. Air Forces Central Command and three air expeditionary wings.

He also coordinated the flying of 250 American flags during combat missions, boosting base morale.

Noncommissioned Officer of the Year -- Staff Sgt. Hebron Morris, 434th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

As an integrated communications/navigation craftsman, Morris was recognized as meticulously troubleshooting elusive HF-1 discrepancy and identifying faulty wires in the tail section of a KC-135R Stratotanker. The repairs helped return the aircraft to fully mission capable.

Serving as an NCOIC, Morriss oversaw the training and equipment of a 24-person shop with 100 percent continuity allowing for high-tempo deployments.

Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year -- Master Sgt. Hansel Orozco, 434th ARW.

As the superintendent of religious affairs, Orozco orchestrated 14 support agencies and created Grissom’s comprehensive Airmen fitness matrix, which was distributed to more than 2,000 Airmen and civilians.

He also put together a base worship band, recruiting and training members, and managing practice sessions that elevated service attendance by 33 percent!

Company Grade Officer of the year -- Capt. Christopher Shamiyeh, 434th AMXS.

As the operations office for the 434th AMX, Shamiyeh executed the flight hour plan for fiscal year 2020 managing 969 sorties and more than 4,700 flight hours with a 76.9 percent mission capable rate, securing an offloads of 2.5 million pounds of fuel.

He deployed for 141 days to U.S. Central Command managing 1,800 sorties with 12,500 flight hours offloading nearly 66 million pounds of fuel offloads to approximately 4,500 coalition receivers.

Field Grade Officer of the Year -- Lt. Col. Tenna Pershing, 434th ARW.

As the director of wing inspections, Pershing oversaw a table top and subsequent field exercise directed at the viable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine making Grissom the first in Air Force Reserve Command to complete the mandatory exercise and training.

She also spearheaded the wing’s continuity of operations, coordinating with 15 local agencies and 3 wings to establish essential operations and key roles.

In wrapping up the ceremony Parks addressed the winners directly.

“Thank you guys so much for what you do,” said Parks. “It’s amazing to be able to be a part of your team.”

The 434th ARW is the Largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.