Special Operations Command honors top airmen



Special Operations Command honors top airmen
Staff report
Posted : Thursday May 15, 2008 14:24:58 EDT

Air Force Special Operations Command named its top enlisted airmen, officers and civilian personnel in 10 categories based on rank May 8. The winners are listed below:

* Airman: Senior Airman Mary Bullock, 11th Intelligence Squadron.
Assigned to the 11th directly out of technical school, Bullock was immediately sent to the squadron’s detachment at Pope Air Force Base, N.C., where she worked 12-hour shifts analyzing video collected by Predators for special operators deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

* Noncommissioned officer: Tech Sgt. Nadine Cabano, 27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron.
Cabano helped build the Taco Bell at Balad Air Base, Iraq, and helped repair water lines during a deployment in 2007. She was also named the AFSOC subject matter expert for a utilization and training workshop on the merger of the utilities and liquid fuels career fields.

* Senior noncommissioned officer: Master Sgt. Charles McHarney IV, 24th Special Tactics Squadron.

The squadron’s special tactics flight chief has earned three Bronze Stars over his 15-year career. He was deployed more than 180 days last year and completed 111 missions with his 17-man flight. McHarney also served as a family liaison officer to Tech. Sgt. Scott Duffman’s family after Duffman was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan last February.

* First sergeant: Master Sgt. Glenn Douglass, 352nd Maintenance Squadron.
Douglass served as the shirt for the 321st Special Tactics Squadron until October, when he took over overseeing 450 airmen at the 352nd. He deployed twice last year and also briefed the Air Force chief of staff and chief master sergeant of the Air Force on overseas tour length issues at an NCO forum in Washington, D.C.

* Company-grade officer: Capt. Michael Jensen, 24th Special Tactics Squadron.
A flight commander in the 24th, Jensen deployed twice last year, where he embedded with an elite assault element and called in airstrikes. He also completed the freefall jumpmaster course, the special operations forces highest attrition school. During a deployment to Afghanistan, he led a survey team through high-altitude caves to develop a new cave-buster bomb.

* Category 1 civilian: Tony Correia, 1st Special Operations Security Forces Squadron.
The squadron’s investigations and ground intelligence branch chief opened 70 cases last year with his team, which recovered $84,000 in cash and stolen property. He also worked to apprehend 11 illegal immigrants working on base.

* Category 2 civilian: Kathleen Denny, 1st Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron.
A retired master sergeant and current unit education and training manager, Denny launched an automated training record program in the squadron. She also built a computer-based pre-test program for upgrade training.

* Category 3 civilian: Gary Saltzburg, 27th Special Operations Civil Engineering Squadron.
He led a team of 23 civilians and airmen who oversee 1,628 facilities and performed more than 7,300 work orders last year. Following a March tornado in Clovis, N.M., which sits next to Cannon Air Force Base, N.M, he helped clear 40 city blocks of debris.

* Individual Mobilization Augmentee enlisted: Tech. Sgt. Jessica Sparks, 1st Special
Operations Security Forces Squadron.
Sparks worked with fellow award-winner Correia to investigate 70 new cases. She started an investigation herself last year that eventually caught seven criminals using drugs and stealing government property. It also recovered $9,000 of cash and stolen property.

* IMA officer: Lt. Col. Jeff Hinrich, 11th Intelligence Squadron.
Hinrich serves as the director of operations to the new squadron, which analyzes Predator feeds pumped into its headquarters at Hurlburt Field, Fla. While not only running his private business and serving as a reservist, he also completed Air War College through correspondence.
I'm sure the Taco Bell in Iraq is more of a morale booster for the troops there than at home.
I'm sure the Taco Bell in Iraq is more of a morale booster for the troops there than at home.

To an extent, but when something becomes a regular part of your life, when you've come to expect it, then its no longer a morale booster. Although I suppose the same could be said for even a basic PX run out of a Conex.

A Popeyes chicken shack, on the other hand...:D;)
True, but I don't think anyone overseas expected it. If I went from eating T-rats everyday to Taco Bell, I would be a happy camper/
I like the fact that we can put a fast food place downrange; I know Joe appreciates it. What I can't fathom is why give an AWARD for building one? In a SOF unti no less.
In my opinion, it was for something good. I have seen people get awards for far less!
I like the fact that we can put a fast food place downrange; I know Joe appreciates it. What I can't fathom is why give an AWARD for building one? In a SOF unti no less.

Good point, you know when you can get a Taco Bell up and running in a combat zone, It shows that not only can you project power, you can do it to the extent that allows you to export fast food to the troops as a commercial venture.

It's the American Way.