302nd AW celebrates innovation at annual awards ceremony

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Heather Heiney
  • 302nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Every year the 302nd Airlift Wing celebrates its accomplishments and people during an annual awards ceremony. This year’s event was a banquet that centered around the theme of innovation.

The evening began with the arrival of the official party and a welcoming of the award nominees through a sword arch.

After the welcome was the singing of the National Anthem, a POW/MIA remembrance ceremony and toasts. The emcee then read from a speech by Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfien.

He said, “Hap Arnold and Billy Mitchell were visionaries and they saw new ways to go over, not through. And they knew that in order to fully utilize air power, they’d have to break glass and unleash innovation.”

After dinner, keynote speaker retired Col. L.C. Williams echoed Goldfien’s message and began his speech by asking who in the room was an innovator. When about half the room kept their hands down he said, “Wrong! Every one of you should have your hand up because you’re all innovators.”

He went on to explain that if someone wants to be an innovator and reach their goals they should start by excelling where they already are.

After the keynote speech it was time to announce the annual award s. Here are the nominees and winners for 2018:


Airman of the year –  Senior Airman Kobby Hanson, 302nd Logistics Readiness Squadron

Nominees: Senior Airman Nicole Harris, 302nd Maintenance Group; and Senior Airman Christina Tust – 34th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron.

Noncommissioned officer of the year – Tech. Sgt. Dava MacDonald, 302nd Airlift Wing Command Post

Nominees: Tech. Sgt. Valentin Rojas, 302nd Communications Flight; Master Sgt. Travis Whitton, 302nd Maintenance Squadron; and Tech. Sgt. Chris Brassard, 731st Airlift Squadron.

Senior NCO of the year –  Senior Master Sgt. Carl Fink, 302nd Logistics Readiness Squadron

Nominees: Senior Master Sgt. Cody Ingermansen, 302nd Maintenance Squadron; and Senior Master Sgt. Nattessa Gilbert, 731st Airlift Squadron.

First sergeant of the year – Master Sgt. Douglas Lemp, 302nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron

Nominees: Senior Master Sgt. Maribel Ramirez, 34th Aeromedical Evacuation; Master Sgt. Shawn Macdonald, 302nd Logistics Readiness Squadron; and Master Sgt. Angel Montalvo, 731st Airlift Squadron.

Company grade officer of the year Capt. Tyler Helig, 302nd Civil Engineer Squadron

Nominees: Capt. James Gerdis, 302nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron; and 1st Lt. Kay McAmis, 34th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron.

Field grade officer of the year Maj. Todd Harder; 302nd Airlift Wing Chaplain

Nominees: Maj. Jonathan Cross, 302nd Security Forces Squadron; and Lt. Col. Jason Bertino, 731st Airlift Squadron.

Civilian of the year- Dexter Frederick, 302nd Operations Group

Nominees: Monika Frank, 302nd Mission Support Group; Carol Pulido, 302nd Mission Support Group; and Tyler Edwards, 302nd Mission Support Group.