RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas —
A Randolph Air Force Base security forces airman recently earned an Air Education and Training Command award for superior performance while deployed on a 252-day tour in Camp Bucca, Iraq.
Tech. Sgt. Hugo Guerrero, 12th SFS unit deployment manager, won the "Outstanding Flight Level Noncommissioned Officer Award" from AETC.
The award was for superior performance as a flight chief from early October 2007 through September 2008.
"That was a surprise," said Sergeant Guerrero, a 15-year Air Force veteran, about the award. "Really, I'm shocked. This is the first time I won an award at the AETC level."
He said he learned of his award about two weeks ago.
Called a "combat warrior" by 12th SFS commander Maj. Frank Hellstern, Sergeant
Guerrero, a Gallup, N. M. native and Army Airborne School graduate, led a major security effort at Camp Bucca.
During that Iraq-based effort, Airmen led by the sergeant "diligently secured" about 21,000 detainees, 6,000 coalition forces members and about $300 million in equipment at Camp Bucca.
While deployed, Sergeant Guerrero also established a quick reaction force squad from the ground up. He led a security team that located and destroyed more than 50 enemy mortars. Additionally, he planned and supervised more than 150 combat missions in an "austere environment" peppered with Improvised Explosive Devices, or IEDs.
Several of these were convoy route-clearing missions with the quick reaction force that cleared roads of insurgents attempting to place IEDs.
The sergeant also spent 1,000 hours outside the camp's wire, searching local villages for insurgents on reconnaissance efforts. Most notably, Sergeant Guerrero's squad stopped an armed theft at a nearby oil refinery. And Airmen from his flight also found two lost Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
Maj. Hellstern's award nomination for Sergeant Guerrero also called him a "sterling flight chief."
"He skillfully blended the efforts of 25 active duty and individual mobility augmentees and reserve members and Department of the Air force civilian guards," Major Hellstern wrote.
The sergeant, as a flight chief, also mentored 90 active-duty Airmen as well as Reservists.
"And the section didn't miss a beat," the major said.
The sergeant led flight members in a clean-up effort at Camp Bucca which resulted in a collection and pick-up of more than 18 tons of trash and recyclables,
Sergeant Guerrero was also lauded for his actions here at the 12th Flying Training Wing. The major said he was number one of 12 technical sergeants in the unit's operations division and because of his performance, he was hand-selected to lead 12th SFS's ORI deployment exercise team. He also trained 43 QRF members in combat skills and overhauled his flight's training plan.
Soon after leading the ORI deployment exercise team, Sergeant Guerrero was identified as an outstanding performer by Major Hellstern and inspectors.
Off-duty, Sergeant Guerrero has undertaken a Texas Peace Officer basic Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) course and is pursuing a bachelor's degree at Wayland Baptist University. He also helped provide security in San Antonio during the NCAA' Final Four basketball tournament and volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in San Antonio, when he built roofs and sheds for needy families.