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Fire dept., base members win AETC awards

By Michael Briggs | Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs | Nov. 29, 2006

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — The base fire department and eight people at Air Educationand Training Command headquarters were recognized fortheir achievements Nov. 7 when AETC announced its 2006 civil engineer awards.

The 12th Civil Engineer Directorate Fire and Emergency Services Flight was named the winner of the Chief Master Sergeant Ralph E. Sanborn Award as the best flight in the command.

Individual award winners from the AETC Civil Engineer Division are:

· Lt. Col. Thomas Mitchell Jr., Major General William D.Gilbert Award for best staff officer;

· Senior Master Sgt. Richard Cavada, General Gilbert Award for best staff enlisted member;

· Barbara Gunter, General Gilbert Award for best staff civilian;

· Lt. Col. Chung Yen, Outstanding Civil Engineer Manager of the Year, Air Reserve Component officer manager;

· Maj. Allen Thibeaux, Society of American Military Engineers Newman Medal, military category;

· Master Sgt. Timothy Eichman, Society of American Military Engineers Goddard Medal, Reserve enlisted member;

· Capt. Harry Jackson, National Society of Professional Engineers Federal Engineer of the Year, military category; and

· Garland Scott, National Society of Professional Engineers Federal Engineer of the Year, civilian category.

"We have a very talented and dedicated group of professionals who do great things everyday for thecommand and the Air Force," said Col. MarkPohlmeier, AETC civil engineer. "These awards represent lots of hard work, long hours and personal sacrifice that ensured AETC's mission wasaccomplished in an outstanding manner.

"In earning its command recognition, the fire and emergency services flight responded to more than 750 emergencies this past fiscal year and safeguarded 145aircraft that flew more than 50,000 sorties, according to the award write-up. The flight also provided serviceto 32 tenant units, 715 facilities and two auxiliary airfields.

The fire protection team's efforts resulted in none of those resources or facilities suffering any monetary fire loss, which is an astounding accomplishment,according to Master Sgt. Christopher Horsman, acting chief of the fire and emergency services flight.

"Our people work hard to get the word out to educate people about how to prevent fires," he said."To record zero fire losses for several years running isa testament to their hard work and professionalism.They have done an outstanding job.

"The fire chief added it was a group effort by more than 70 members of the flight that led to the award.

The AETC individual awards also recognized people for being dedicated to their craft.

Colonel Mitchell, as chief of readiness plans forthe CE Division, oversaw the preparedness of 1,600 CE people for deployment while managing tasking commitments that sent nearly 400 people to 16 countries, a 50-percent increase of commitments over the previous year, according to his nomination.

Sergeant Cravada, mechanical manager, was credited in his nomination package with crafting the command's $52 million aircraft sun shelter program.He also jump-started stalled projects at four bases and overcame design, construction and maintenance problems to get the program back on track.

As a military construction program manager, Ms.Gunter was lauded in her write-up for overseeing a$40 million project to procure land acquisitions inthe Luke AFB, Ariz., flight corridors to further enhance the safety of the F-16 flying training operations there.

In his duty as AETC base-to-command programmanager, Reservist Colonel Yen logged more than 350man days in executing programs that ensured command planning was thorough and accurate, while completing Air War College by correspondence,according to his nomination package.

Major Thibeaux, AETC joint basing program manager, served as the senior engineer on a hand-picked design team in charge of a $40 million program in support of the Army in Kuwait.

Sergeant Eichman is a Reservist who volunteered tosupport explosive ordnance disposal operations fulltime as the command EOD superintendent. In the past fiscal year, Sergeant Eichman co-authored a rewrite of the AETC instruction that set new policy and direction for EOD career field training.

As military construction program manager, Captain Jackson's leadership was instrumental in the successful execution of $107 million in revitalization projects affecting multiple stateside and overseas installations, according to his nomination package.

Mr. Scott, command mechanical engineer, worked toget funding for 25 energy-saving performance contracts and nine energy conservation investment program projects.

His efforts came to fruition when AETC achieved a 40 percent energy savings, which is best in the Air Force by more than 5 percent and surpasses the president's established goal by 10 percent.

The Air Force winners will be announced in early 2007.