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Airmen receive recognition at annual awards ceremony

Col. Erik Peterson, 115th Fighter Wing commander, addresses Airmen from across the base at the 2016 Awards Ceremony in Hangar 406 on Jan. 7, 2017. During the ceremony, there were eight categories of awards presented, including Airman of the Year, Non-commissioned Officer of the Year and Company Grade Officer of the Year, among others. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Kyle Russell)

Col. Erik Peterson, 115th Fighter Wing commander, addresses Airmen from across the base at the 2016 Awards Ceremony in Hangar 406 on Jan. 7, 2017. During the ceremony, there were eight categories of awards presented, including Airman of the Year, Non-commissioned Officer of the Year and Company Grade Officer of the Year, among others. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Kyle Russell)

MADISON, Wis. -- More than 800 Airmen attended the 115th Fighter Wing's annual awards ceremony in Hangar 406 on base Jan. 7.

During the ceremony, there were eight categories of awards presented, including Airman of the Year, Non-commissioned Officer of the Year and Company Grade Officer of the Year, among others.

"I am extremely proud to serve with the outstanding Airmen of this Wing and the Wisconsin Air National Guard," said Col. Erik Peterson, 115 FW commander. "The tremendous achievements by these Airmen could not have happened without the support, teamwork and dedication of their leaders, peers and subordinates."

Chosen as the Company Grade Officer of the Year was 1st Lt. Joshua Johnson, 115 FW comptroller flight budget officer. He was chosen for the award because of his outstanding performance and achievements. He managed more than $37 million in operations and maintenance funds, chaired the financial working group of 31 resource advisors, 10 organizations in 3 geographically separated units toward actionable fiscal compliance. These were just a few items mentioned as he walked the stage to receive his award.

"I am honored to be named the Company Grade Officer of the Year," Johnson said. "I owe this award to my enlisted team and their hard work, motivation and ability to strive for excellence."

Others named during the awards ceremony included Airman 1st Class Tyler Geoffroy, Tech. Sgt. Ashlynn Bathey, Senior Master Sgt. Richard Breister, Master Sgt. Logan Nickel, and Mr. Brian Schultz.

The Work Center of the Year award went to Fire and Emergency Services, of the Mission Support Group, for their life-saving efforts to revive an airline passenger who suffered a seizure and subsequent heart failure, and flawlessly mitigated 358 emergency responses. They also worked alongside the United States Secret Service to resolve a vulnerability in the vice-presidential motorcade.

The Organization of the Year award went to the 176th Fighter Squadron. This year the fighter squadron pilots tallied more than 3700 hours and maintained the highest level of unit readiness, ensuring all pilots were deployment ready. They deployed to Homestead Air Force Reserve Base, Florida, for the Gunsmoke Exercise, conducted live-missile training during Combat Archer, an exercise held at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, and volunteered to support the Weapons Instructor Course at Nellis AFB, Nevada Additionally, the squadron built the tactical framework for Northern Lightning, an exercise held at Volk Field Air National Guard Base, Wisconsin, that allowed the integration of fourth and fifth generation aircraft - enabling the F-35 Lightning II to complete its largest deployment to date.

Peterson completed the awards ceremony by addressing the Airmen.

"As we look to 2017, with the continued high operations tempo and numerous domestic and overseas operations that we lead, I know it will be a tremendous year with great accomplishments," he said. "Thank you all for your continuing dedication and passion for service. You inspire me each and every day."
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