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    Pa. Air National Guard announces 2021 Airmen of the Year awards; 3 move on to national competition

    Pa. Air National Guard announces 2021 Airmen of the Year awards

    Photo By Ted Nichols | The Pennsylvania Air National Guard has selected its Airmen of the Year for 2021. The...... read more read more



    Story by Tech. Sgt. Ted Nichols 

    Joint Force Headquarters - Pennsylvania National Guard

    FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Air National Guard has selected its annual Airmen of the Year for 2021, and three have been selected to compete nationally after capturing wins at the regional level.

    This year’s statewide recipients are: Airman of the Year Senior Airman Ruth-Ann Bell, 193rd Special Operations Wing, Middletown; Noncommissioned Officer of the Year Tech. Sgt. Devon F. Kuny, 193rd Special Operations Wing, Middletown; First Sergeant of the Year Senior Master Sgt. Brian E. Zarilla, 111th Attack Wing, Horsham; and Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year Master Sgt. Peter T. Gottshalk II, 111th Attack Wing, Horsham. Bell, Kuny and Zarilla are moving to the national level of competition in their respective categories after advancing beyond the regional competition.

    “Announcing Pennsylvania’s Airmen of the Year – those who are the best of the best across our enlisted force – is always one of my proudest moments as commander,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Regan, Pa. Air National Guard commander. “The entire process serves as a testament of the quality of Airmen we are able recruit and retain across the commonwealth. This year’s announcement is made even more special as we just learned three of our Airmen have been selected to move on to the national competition after advancing from the regional competition.”

    Bell, of Hummelstown, Dauphin County, is a weather forecaster in the 193rd’s 203rd Weather Flight located at Fort Indiantown Gap. She completed Air Force basic training in 2018. In 2020, she supported statewide COVID-19 operations as part of Operation Safe Haven and deployed to Camp Buehring, Kuwait, in August for seven months in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

    Bell received her Bachelor of Science in small animal science and conservation from Delaware Valley University in Doylestown in 2001. She is an active community volunteer in the Civil Air Patrol where she uses her weather forecasting experience, as well as her private pilot and commercial glider pilot licenses, to mentor cadets. Bell leverages her background in animal science to volunteer with a variety of organizations, including Future Farmers of America.

    Kuny, of Washington, D.C., serves as noncommissioned officer in charge, battalion tactical air control party and serves as a battalion air liaison officer and joint terminal attack controller in the 193rd’s 148th Air Support Operations Group located at Fort Indiantown Gap. He completed a deployment to Syria in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in August 2020 and previously deployed twice to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

    Kuny enlisted in the Air Force in 2007 and served on active duty until November 2011. He enlisted in the PAANG in October 2013. He received an Associate of Applied Science in information system technology from the Community College of the Air Force in 2013. Kuny is employed full time as a firefighter and paramedic in Washington, D.C.

    Zarilla, of Dover, York County, is the wing first sergeant for the 111th. He has completed multiple deployments supporting Operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Inherent Resolve, Spartan Shield and Freedom Sentinel. He currently advises the wing commander on all matters of morale, welfare, career progression and readiness in fulfilling his first sergeant duties.

    Zarilla has previously served as first sergeant for the wing’s air operations group and security forces squadron and held previous occupational positions in the wing as a safety craftsman, quality assurance representative and aircraft maintenance technician. He received an Associate of Applied Science in occupational safety in 2017 from the Community College of the Air Force. In his civilian career, he recently retired from Harley-Davidson, Inc. and in 2015 was elected to serve as union president of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 175. Zarilla currently works full time at the Defense Contract Management Agency as a quality assurance specialist at BAE Systems in York.

    Gottshalk, of Sellersville, Bucks County, is a structural craftsman assigned to the 111th’s 201st RED HORSE Squadron, Detachment 1. He has deployed as part of task force operations in Guatemala and El Salvador and in August 2019 deployed to Jordan as a project manager in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Upon return from his deployment to Jordan in June 2020, he immediately volunteered to serve as project manager for a deployment as part of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program where his team will assist with a military construction project in Klaipeda, Lithuania.

    Gottshalk is employed full time as a project manager for Ryan Homes where he facilitates the construction process for new residential homes. He has won numerous awards with the company to include rookie of the year and distinguished builder.

    MEDIA NOTE: Members of the media seeking more information should contact public affairs personnel at each awardees’ respective wing: 111th Attack Wing at (215) 323-7177 or 193rd Special Operations Wing at (717) 948-2311.



    Date Taken: 03.11.2021
    Date Posted: 03.11.2021 13:18
    Story ID: 391155
    Hometown: ANNVILLE, PA, US
    Hometown: DOVER, PA, US
    Hometown: HUMMELSTOWN, PA, US
    Hometown: SELLERSVILLE, PA, US
    Hometown: WASHINGTON, DC, US

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