Channel Islands ANGS, Calif. -- The 146th Airlift Wing's Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) has been receiving national notoriety, setting Air Force-wide records and winning more than four national awards and a combined ten individual and unit awards over the last year!
History was made as 146AW members assigned to the 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron in Afghanistan helped move 25,367 passengers and 8.9 thousand S-Tons in four months--more than ANY airlift squadron in the history of the U.S. Air Force!
"We deployed to Afghanistan along with several other units from our wing in 2008--operations, the flying squadron, the maintenance squadron-- and we were there as logistics and traffic management," said Lt. Col. Mike Dugas, 146th LRS Commander. "It's amazing how much camaraderie there was, deployed as a big family, each doing his or her own part to accomplish the mission."
Awards bestowed upon this unit this year include the 2009 Verne Orr Award, awarded to the Air Force Unit (Active, Reserve or Guard) which makes the most of its human resources and best use of its people to achieve its full potential to accomplish the mission, the 2008 Air Reserve Component (ARC) Logistics Readiness Squadron of the year, and the 2008 Air National Guard LRS of the Year.
"The award I am the most proud of for this unit is the Air Reserve Component Logistics Readiness Squadron of the Year," said Lt. Col. Dugas. "Every single member of this unit contributed to making that happen. It truly shows that we have the highest caliber Airmen here at the 146th.
"This year we made a commitment to recognize the individuals in this career field who stand out as top performers, and we knew that we had the cream of the crop here. But even these individuals couldn't have gotten these awards without the support and dedication of their fellow Airmen--it really takes the whole team to succeed," said Lt. Col. Dugas.
Senior Airman Krystal Lee Atkinson (then Hose) was selected as the Air National Guard's 2008 Transportation Airman of the Year. While deployed with the 332nd Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron Detachment 3/COB at Camp Speicher, Tikrit, Iraq, her relentless drive and dedication increased flow of aircraft through the AMD and the unit achieved a 98 percent on-time departure rate. Her dedication and ingenuity were demonstrated by her ability to multi-task duties which strengthened crucial communications and enhanced JAMOC capabilities by 50 percent.
Staff Sgt. Sarah K. Homestead (then O'Neil) was selected as the Air National Guard's Transportation Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year 2008. While she was assigned to 332 ELRS Detachment 3/COB Camp Speicher, Iraq, she maintained strict oversight responsibility in marshalling a Korean C-130 which arrived without prior notice, downloaded a Humvee and located required paperwork while minimizing aircraft ground time to 20 minutes. With her focus strongly on safety, she successfully recovered 2,970 deployed aircraft with zero safety mishaps within the first quarter of FY08. .
Master Sgt. Louis V. Franco, Jr. is the 2008 Air National Guard Transportation Senior NCO of the Year. As the day shift Air Transportation Superintendent with the 332nd Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron, Detachment 3, Camp Speicher, Tikrit, Iraq, he effectively directed the safe off-load/on-load of 1,787 tons of cargo and processed 5,421 passengers on 386 missions with a 98 percent on-time departure rate. He orchestrated the successful and safe recovery of 2,970 deployed aircraft, and his direct guidance and commitment helped achieve the results of zero safety mishaps within the first quarter of FY08. His quick response in identifying and helping to extinguish a fire on a C-130 tire, saved the lives of 14 military members, special operational equipment, and a $32 million aircraft.
Senior Master Sgt. Timothy J. Lewis received the Air Reserve Component Traffic Management Senior NCO of the Year Award and the Air National Guard Traffic Management Senior NCO of the Year Award for 2008. As the NCOIC of the Traffic Management Office he coordinated and directed issue of 8,250 airline tickets, accurately accounted for more than 72,000 pieces of inbound cargo and positively tracked $920,000 transportation budget via Powertrack-carries. During an initial response exercise he processed more than 80 chalks and 600 tons of cargo, attaining a flawless logistics achievement over the course of three Operational Readiness Exercises and an Operational Readiness Inspection. SMSgt Lewis was lauded by the 2007 Logistics Standardization Evaluation Team Chief for several "Best Seen to Date" Traffic Management Programs that have been used as benchmark programs across the Air National Guard.
Lt. Col. Michael N. Dugas was bestowed the Maj. Gen. Alice Astafan Air Reserve Component Logistics Readiness Officer of the Year for 2008 and the 2008 Air National Guard Logistics Readiness Field Grade Officer of the Year. Lt. Col. Dugas deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom to Balad, Iraq and provided positive leadership to joint task force operations. He was awarded JSCOM exceptional Meritorious Achievement for successful collaboration with personnel to effectively supervise the maintenance of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets for the Task Force.
He led four-person 'Command Teams' to provided mentorship/leadership training to Ukrainian AF under the State Partnership Program, performing duty in Melatopol, Ukraine where he conducted SNCO familiarization training with Ukrainian Air Force. He hosted the second event of SNCO development under the State Partnership Program for the Ukrainian Air Force at the 146th Airlift Wing in California. He was a key member on the Operational Readiness Inspection and deployed to the Combat Readiness Training Compound in Alpena, Mich. to lead the LRS. He was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal for Outstanding Achievement for leadership in Homeland Security, Natural Disaster Response, and achieving excellence in the execution of numerous Air Force audits and inspections. As commander of the 146th LRS he provided ready, relevant and reliable airmen to the Total Force, deploying members for more than 8.5 thousand days throughout the CONUS as well as to Nigeria, Ukraine, Germany, Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Qatar.