1st Air Force recognizes outstanding Wisconsin Airmen

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Paul Gorman
  • 115th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
1st Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Richard King visited the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing, Dec. 3, 2017, as part of an Air Force North support mission to directly engage with Air Control Alert sites throughout North America.

The visit allowed King a first-hand look at the Truax Field alert facilities, and an opportunity to speak with the pilots, maintainers and support personnel who perform the 24/7 mission to safeguard U.S. airspace.

On behalf of 1st AF Commander Lt. Gen. R. Scott Williams, King also took the time to recognize exemplary performance demonstrated by 115th FW members supporting the ACA mission, as well as those Airmen who directly contributed to hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.   

"It has become a goal for Lt. Gen. Williams and I to always look for opportunities to recognize the best of the best,” King said. “It's humbling and an absolute honor to personally recognize our great American and Canadian service members from across First Air Force and the North American Aerospace Defense Command enterprise.”

Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Williams, 115th FW alert chief enlisted manager was recognized for his contributions to the ACA program, which recently received its fourth consecutive discrepancy free NORAD alert forces evaluation.
“I’m very proud of our entire alert team,” Williams said. “This accomplishment isn’t due to the efforts of any one person alone. It relies on every single one of us working together to accomplish the mission.”

Also recognized for their role in the wing’s ACA mission were command post controllers Tech. Sgt. Bryan Wetenkamp and Master Sgt. David Ferris; operations group superintendent Senior Master Sgt. Brian Bierman; aircraft maintenance specialist Master Sgt. Shaun Bahr; weapons specialist Master Sgt. Troy Tabbert; aircrew flight equipment specialist Staff Sgt. Nicole Immel; and security forces journeyman Staff Sgt. Bryan McMahon.

Staff Sgt. Cory Sachtjen, 115th FW cyberspace transport systems craftsman was recognized for his role as noncommissioned officer in charge of Wisconsin’s Joint Incident Site Communications Capability team. The six communications specialists assigned to the JISCC deployed to Puerto Rico Sept. 23, where they provided critical communications capabilities to the San Juan international airport in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Sachtjen lauded the considerable effort demonstrated by every member of the JISCC in making the recognition possible.

“While deployed we were so focused on accomplishing the mission, that it was easy to overlook the impact, but having Chief King explain the significance of our contribution really put things in perspective,” Sachtjen said.

Staff Sgt. Blake Brandner, 115th FW services craftsman was also recognized for domestic operations support as one of nine 115th FW Airmen assigned to operate the unit’s Disaster Relief Mobile Kitchen Trailer. While deployed to Puerto Rico, Brandner coordinated storage and inventory procedures, while helping to distribute more than 50,000 meals to four DRMKT locations.

Throughout his visit, King took every opportunity to speak directly with the Airmen engaged in daily operations, helping each to understand that their time, service and sacrifice directly impact the success of the mission.

According to Williams, the ability for his Airmen to excel is more than just a measure of their dedication, it is also a reflection of the environment in which they work.

“The culture of professionalism created by our leadership influences every member of the team down to our youngest Airmen,” Williamson said. “Once you’ve established that culture, it’s a lot easier to maintain a level of performance worthy of recognition.”