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    Pa. Air National Guard announces 2020 Airmen of the Year awards

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    Story by Tech. Sgt. Ted Nichols 

    Joint Force Headquarters, Pennsylvania National Guard

    The Pennsylvania Air National Guard has selected its annual Airmen of the Year for 2020 from a slate of awardees representing accomplished Airmen from its wings across the commonwealth in Coraopolis, Middletown and Horsham.

    This year’s recipients are: Airman of the Year Senior Airman Justin G. Zambelli, 111th Attack Wing, Horsham; Non-commissioned Officer of the Year Tech. Sgt. Eric B. Shaner, 193rd Special Operations Wing, Middletown; First Sergeant of the Year Master Sgt. Bryan C. Curzi, 171st Air Refueling Wing, Coraopolis; and Senior Non-commissioned Officer of the Year Master Sgt. Alexander C. Ryder, 111th Attack Wing, Horsham.

    “It is an honor each year to recognize those from our enlisted ranks who are exemplifying the Air Force’s core values of integrity, service and excellence in all we do,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Regan, Pennsylvania Air National Guard commander. “I never cease to be amazed by the quality of Airmen we have serving in our organization and these Airmen of the Year truly represent our best of the best – a statement in itself because the selection process is extremely competitive due to the overall high quality of nominees submitted each year across our force.”

    Senior Airman Zambelli, of Allentown, Lehigh County, is a security forces specialist in the 111th’s Security Forces Squadron. He recently completed a deployment in 2019 to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Zambelli has also completed the Pennsylvania State Police riot control training to broaden his military skillset. He has been active in fitness competitions, sexual assault prevention program efforts and community involvement by volunteering at multiple orphanages and homeless shelters. Zambelli is employed full time at the 111th.

    Tech. Sgt. Shaner, of Jonestown, Lebanon County, is a battalion air liaison officer and joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) in the 193rd’s 148th Air Support Operations Group located at Fort Indiantown Gap. He recently completed a deployment to Syria in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in 2019 and has three previous deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Shaner also currently serves as an instructor and evaluator to 54 JTACs. He received a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University in 2017 and serves full time at the 148th ASOS.

    Master Sgt. Curzi, of Lawrence, Washington County, is a first sergeant assigned to the 171st’s Medical Group. Curzi has deployed seven times overseas in support of contingency operations and supported numerous security missions in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. His efforts to foster resilience and promote ethical leadership have had substantive benefits in fulfilling his first sergeant duties. Curzi recently placed second in the ProAM bodybuilder competition and is employed full time in the 171st’s Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

    Master Sgt. Ryder, of Radnor, Delaware County, is an engineering and installation team chief assigned to the 111th’s 270th Engineering Installation Squadron and oversees the training of more than 30 Airmen in the cable/antenna systems work center. He completed a 2019 deployment to Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, and has two previous deployments to Afghanistan. Ryder received a Bachelor of Science in business marketing in 2013 from West Chester University and is employed full time as a product manager for SEI Investments where he specializes in process improvement and automation.

    All four Airmen will now compete at the regional level for their respective categories.

    MEDIA NOTE: Media outlets should contact public affairs personnel at each awardees’ respective wing to work stories: 111th Attack Wing at (215) 323-7177 or 171st Air Refueling Wing at (412) 776-7350 or 193rd Special Operations Wing at (717) 948-2311.



    Date Taken: 03.08.2020
    Date Posted: 03.08.2020 12:42
    Story ID: 364725
    Hometown: ALLENTOWN, PA, US
    Hometown: JONESTOWN, PA, US
    Hometown: LAWRENCE, PA, US
    Hometown: RADNOR, PA, US

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