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    NY Air Guard 174th Attack Wing honors five as Airmen of the Year

    Airman of the Year recognized

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Duane Morgan | New York Air National Guard Senior Master Sgt. Tricia Shivers stands with Col....... read more read more



    Story by Master Sgt. Barbara Olney 

    New York National Guard

    Syracuse, New York- Five members of the New York Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing, based at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, have been named the wing’s Airmen of the Year.

    The Airman of the Year program recognizes wing members for their performance during 2021.

    Each Airman must show superior leadership, excellent job performance and personal achievement to be selected. The top Airmen in each of the New York Air National Guard’s six wings then compete against each other to be the best in the state.

    Those recognized in 2021 are:
    • Airman 1st Class Amanda Kriesel, a Baldwinsville resident, who was named Airman of the Year;
    • Technical Sgt. Jeremy Ciesla, a Lafayette resident, who was named Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year;
    • Senior Master Sgt. Christine Wiesen, an Erie, Pennsylvania resident, who was named Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year;
    • Senior Master Sgt. Tricia Shiver, a Canastota resident, who was named First Sergeant of the Year;
    • Lt. Kevin Rech, a resident of Camillus, who was named Officer of the Year.

    The five Airmen were named by Col. William McCrink III, the wing commander, during a Dec.5, 2021 wing meeting for all Airmen.

    “The Airman of the Year program gives us an opportunity to recognize the airmen and what they have been doing for us,” said Command Chief Master Sgt. Michael Will, the wing’s top enlisted leader. “They are the face of what the wing is doing.”

    Airman 1st Class Amanda Kriesel, who was named enlisted Airman of the Year, is a personnel specialist assigned to the 174th Attack Wing’s recruiting and retention office and the wing commander’s office as an administrator.

    She was recognized for introducing a more effective system for tracking yearly appraisals and mid-term personnel reviews. Her work helped reduce a back log of headquarters staff personnel appraisals.

    Technical Sgt. Jeremy Ciesla, who was named Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year, serves as an information technologu specialist with the 174th Maintenance Group. He was responsible for improving data collection on the MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft the 174th Attack Wing flies.

    Ciesla is responsible for 20 technical order changes that will be useful to MQ-9 maintainers both at the 174th and across the Air Force MQ-9 fleet. These changes will provide better guidance for conducting maintenance more safely on the MQ-9.

    Ciesla also serves on the base honor guard, providing military funeral services to veterans, and played a key role in organizing the wing recruiting efforts at the New York State Fair. He worked 10 days to showcase the MQ-9 Ground Control Station display to the public.

    Senior Master Sgt. Christine Wiesen who was selected as the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year, serves as the superintendent aviation resource manager for the 174th Operations Group.

    Wiesen was recognized for creating a new method of tracking pay, training and medical requirements for air crew members. She was selected by the National Guard Bureau to be the Air Combat Command (ACC) and Air National Guard subject matter expert regarding the new tracking method for all MQ-9 units throughout ACC.

    She was also selected as the subject matter expert by National Guard Bureau as the Air Battle working group manager that has been standardizing flight training requirements within her career field throughout the Air Force.

    Wiesen was also the point of contact for facilitating discussion for 250 members during a training day focused on combating extremism in the military.

    Senior Master Sgt. Tricia Shiver, who was named First Sergeant of the Year, is assigned to the 174th Operations Group. In the Air Force, first sergeants serve as experts for all readiness and problem solvers for health, morale, welfare and quality of life issues within their organizations.

    Shivers serves as the First Sergeant Council president for the 174th Attack Wing. She coordinated annual training and team building events for Hancock Field’s first sergeants and additional duty first sergeant.

    Shivers was selected by the New York Air National Guard State Command Chief to attend the new Senior Non-Commission Senior Enlisted Course, and has been invited back to serve as a course facilitator.

    She also coaches a location t-ball team and assisted with the wing suicide prevention efforts and facilitated the wing officer development course.

    1st Lt. Kevin Rech, serves at the Officer in Charge of the 174th Security Forces Squadron. In January of 2021, Rech quickly mobilized 32 Security Force Airmen to serve as part of a New York National Guard deployment to Washington D.C. Following the January 6 Capitol riot. The team helped to secure the Capitol. The Supreme Court and the Library of Congress during the deployment.

    Rech also organized the 174th's annual Fallen Defender Ruck March in honor of the 14 Air Force Security Forces Airmen who have been killed in action since Sept. 11, 2001.

    Over 350 participants came out and hiked the 3-mile course over a 24-hour period, raising over $4,100 for charity.



    Date Taken: 12.30.2021
    Date Posted: 12.30.2021 09:25
    Story ID: 412139
    Location: SYRACUSE, NY, US 
    Hometown: SYRACUSE, NY, US

    Web Views: 175
    Downloads: 0