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2016's Outstanding Airmen of the Year Honored - 146th Airlift Wing's 1st Sgt. Josh Baker takes Best in State

  • Published
  • By Major Kimberly Holman
  • 146AW/PA
The annual Outstanding Airman and Soldier of the Year Banquet took place at the Hyatt Bayfront in San Diego on Jan. 27. Members of Air National Guard units as well as Army units from across the state came to show their support and cheer on their nominees as they walked down the red carpet.

"Tonight we recognize some of the finest Service members in the California Military Department," said Major General David Baldwin, California's Adjutant General. "The individuals honored today set a standard of excellence to which all should aspire." The nominees went through a rigorous board process where they demonstrated stamina, agility, and a mastery of technical skills far above their peers, he said.

Master Sergeant Joshua J. Baker took top honors this year as the state's winning competitor in the first sergeant category. He will now move forward to compete against other states' first sergeants at the national level. Baker is the first sergeant assigned to the 146th Maintenance Group where he serves as the key enlisted advisor to the Group Commander on matters concerning the welfare, career progression, and mission readiness of unit members. He holds a Bachelor's degree in criminal justice and has performed numerous combat deployments overseas since his enlistment in 2000.

"I congratulate all of the competitors for their excellence, professionalism and dedication to service. They embody the National Guard's creed of
'Always Ready, Always There'," said Baldwin. "Their accomplishments are in keeping with the finest traditions of Military service and reflect great credit
upon the California Military Department and the state of California."

Senior Airman Ryan J. Anzil competed as the 146th Airlift Wing's nominee in the Airman category. He is an Aircraft Maintenance Journeyman assigned to the 146th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron where he serves as an assistant crew chief. Anzil entered the Air National Guard in 2013. During his three years in the Air National Guard, he has been activated for emergency state active duty to support the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System mission for California wildfires, supported
Operation CORONET OAK, and recently deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE. He is a private pilot and holds a Bachelor's degree in mass media.

Representing the 146th in the noncommissioned officer category is Technical Sergeant Bryan H. Farmer, a member of the 146th Security Forces Squadron. Farmer joined the United States Air Force in 1987 and entered the National Guard in 2009. He deployed to the United Arab Emirates in 2014, and to Al Udeid Air Base in September 2016 as a RAVEN Team Lead. He has flown combat support missions all over the Middle East to include Iraq and Afghanistan. He is pursuing his Community College of the Air Force degree in Criminal Justice.

Master Sergeant Kelly M. Abbott competed for the senior noncommissioned officer category and is an Engineering Craftsman assigned to the Civil Engineering Squadron as the Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of the Engineering Shop. She entered the Air Force in 2002 and in 2004 received orders to Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. She joined the California Air National Guard in 2006 and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in business administration.