Overcoming Obstacles: 434th OSS wins Airfield Operations Awards

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jeremy Blocker
  • 434th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Improvise, adapt and overcome may be a quotable line from a Clint Eastwood movie, but air traffic controllers at Grissom did just that on their way to nearly sweeping annual awards.

The 434th Operations Support Squadron won Airfield Operations awards in 7 out of 8 categories based on their outstanding performances in duties that soar above what is required.

The COVID-19 pandemic was a challenge for everyone, but the Hoosier Wing’s mission had to continue.

Knowing Grissom, and others, counted on them, the OSS team put forth award winning efforts.

The seven awards the 434th OSS won were:

Airfield Management Technician of the Year - Audrey Peters

Air Traffic Controller (Civilian) of the Year - Anthony Morgan

ATC Supervisor (Civilian) of the Year - Kevin Ware

2020 Lima Site 85 Team Award

D. Ray Hardin Air Traffic Control Facility of the Year

Airfield Operations Flight of the Year

R.B. McCarthy Airfield Management Facility of the Year

“We crushed the awards in 2020,” said Robert Moore, 434th OSS airfield operations manager. “Airfield management and weather became a part of our operations and this allowed them to compete for government awards.”

Every section of the airfield operations made a huge contribution to winning these awards.

“Although weather didn’t win their respective category, we won the McCarthy award and an airfield technician award,” Moore continued. “Having airfield management and weather as a part of our team, we were able to finally compete as the Airfield Operations Flight and we won that award as well! The ATC section has always been stellar and they have proven themselves year after year.”

The award recipients from each category took great pride in their accomplishments. They knew there was nothing getting in their way.

“I’m honored to lead the extraordinary efforts demonstrated by the controllers on my team and the outstanding support from the management team,” said Kevin Ware, 434th OSS air traffic controller supervisor. “These awards signify the team’s devotion to duty and our commitment to excellence and mission accomplishment.”

The amazing work that the 434th OSS has done is something to be proud of. Amongst all of the unfortunate events during the pandemic, they were determined to stand tall and complete their mission.

“It’s a huge honor to receive these awards for the work my team and I put into the facility this past year,” said Anthony Morgan, 434th OSS airfield operations automation manager. “The competition is strong and we couldn’t be happier. Last year was a rough one for air traffic controllers during COVID, so to bring an award like this to Team Grissom just highlights the extraordinary accomplishments Grissom was able to make during one of the hardest times the country has seen in years. It means we stayed focused on the mission and providing the best ATC services we can.”

In 2020, Grissom’s airfield managers improvised, adapted and not only overcame, but excelled!

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.

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