ROME, N.Y. - More than 170 New York Air National Guardsmen, Canadian Forces members and guests were in attendance at the Radisson Hotel in Utica last Friday as the Eastern Air Defense Sector recognized its outstanding performers from 2013.
"EADS' mission of protecting the eastern U.S. airspace requires consistent excellence from all of our members," said Col. Dawne Deskins, EADS Commander. "Our 2013 award winners distinguished themselves by going above and beyond our high standards and I congratulate each of them on their outstanding accomplishments and thank them for their extraordinary efforts."
EADS is part of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and is composed of New York Air National Guardsmen, a Canadian Forces detachment and a civilian support staff. The unit recognized outstanding performers in six categories: company grade officer (junior officers below the rank of major), senior noncommissioned officer, noncommissioned officer, junior enlisted airman, honor guard member and civilian.
Award recipients were:
• Capt. Angela Hudson, Royal Canadian Air Force, Outstanding Company Grade Officer. A senior director in operations, Hudson qualified as an instructor in the shortest time possible. A third-year law student, she was noted as a "stellar performer" on a major 1st Air Force operational inspection and was a national finalist for the prestigious RCAF Space Studies program.
• Master Sgt. Jonathon Lake, Holland Patent, Outstanding Senior Noncommissioned Officer. A versatile senior NCO, Lake maintained three different operational qualifications. The only EADS member to earn an "exceptionally qualified" rating as an emergency action coordinator, Lake performed superbly in nine NORAD-level exercises. He also developed a training program for military pay certifiers, participated in eight Honor Guard details and was active in several volunteer efforts.
• Master Cpl. Sean Parent, Royal Canadian Air Force, Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer. The first RCAF member to be assigned to EADS data-link management control cell, Parent was recognized for outstanding performance by the Commander and four visiting generals. Parent is the Canadian Detachment's suicide prevention adviser and serves on the unit's bi-national honor guard.
• Staff Sgt. Benjamin Plumley, Herkimer, Outstanding Airman. A radio transmission specialist, Plumley's ingenuity during installations and maintenance saved thousands of dollars. As lead antenna climbing instructor, Plumley trained five airmen on safety and rescue techniques, which contributed greatly to the unit's perfect safety record in this area. An energetic volunteer, he served as a youth baseball coach and helped with flood-relief and Thanksgiving charity events.
• Tech. Sgt. Amy Ough, Whitesboro, Outstanding Honor Guard Member. Ough participated in more than 30 percent of the Honor Guard's 50 details, including 11 funeral ceremonies. She contributed more than 125 volunteer hours to the program, coordinating with local funeral directors and training new personnel for ceremonial duties. Ough has also been named the New York Air National Guard's Outstanding Honor Guard member.
• Arnold Zumbrun, Rome, Outstanding Civilian. Lead program manager for computer room addition, which was completed on time and included more than $1.3 million in communications equipment. As a resource adviser, Zumbrun streamlined his section's budget, maintaining mission critical support projects while reducing spending by more than 20 percent.
The Eastern Air Defense Sector is headquartered at Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome. Staffed by active-duty New York Air National Guardsmen and a Canadian Forces detachment, the unit supports the North American Aerospace Defense Command's (NORAD) integrated warning and attack assessment missions and the U.S. Northern Command's (USNORTHCOM) homeland defense mission. EADS is responsible for air sovereignty and counter-air operations over the eastern United States and directs a variety of assets to defend one million square miles of land and sea.
Photographs of the Award Winners can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nyng/sets/72157640112082843/