2017 Nuclear Deterrence Operations, Nuclear & Missile Operations Awards Winners Announced

Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs / Published March 27, 2018

WASHINGTON (AFNS) Air Force officials recently named the winners of the 2017 Nuclear Deterrence Operations Award and the Nuclear & Missile Operations Award.

The Nuclear Deterrence Operations Award recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of Airmen contributing to nuclear deterrence operations.

The Nuclear & Missile Operations Award honors officers who make the most significant contribution to the nuclear and missile operations career field.

“Congratulations on a job well done to the winners of the 2017 Nuclear Deterrence Operations Awards and the Nuclear & Missile Operations Awards. The service members and civilians charged with the mission of nuclear deterrence, nuclear strike, and nuclear surety hold a great responsibility in protecting our Nation. We’re recognizing the best of the best among that group. Their stellar performance correlates directly to the standards our Air Force expects," said Lt. Gen. Jack Weinstein, Deputy Chief of Staff, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, Headquarters Air Force.

These outstanding nuclear professionals were selected from a diverse field within the Air Force’s major commands, unified combatant commands and other agencies including the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard.

Nuclear Deterrence Operations Award winners are:

- Airman of the Year: Senior Airman Joshua Roberts, 791st Missile Security Forces Squadron, Air Force Global Strike Command

- Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Staff Sgt. Tyler Dalton, 377th Weapons System Security Squadron, AFGSC

- Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Master Sgt. Jeffrey Malone, 39th Security Forces Squadron, U.S. Air Forces in Europe

- Company Grade Officer of the Year: Capt. Daniel Merkh, 509th Security Forces Squadron, AFGSC

- Field Grade Officer of the Year: Maj. Claus Fasting, 701st Munitions Support Squadron, USAFE

- Category I Civilian of the Year: Mr. Jared Cragun, 581st Munitions Maintenance Squadron, Air Force Materiel Command

- Category II Civilian of the Year: Mr. Chad Smith, 377th Security Forces Group, AFGSC

- Category III Civilian of the Year: Mr. Keith Hedgepeth, Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, AFMC

- Professional Team: Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, AFMC (Col. Heath Collins, Jim Webster, Karl Rogers, Maj. Todd Rotramel, Keith Lucas, Lt. Jorge Martinez, Lt. Robert Rodgers, Lt. Blake Branton, Phillip Ingraham, Garrett Veenendaal, Justin Hinman, Jason Henrie, Jamie Marsh, Chase Darlington, Jodi Messenger, Robert Watson, David Hamblin, Sean Reiter, Lt. Jerrod Mertz, Micki Mitchell, Tyler Hodson, Jared Anderson, Paul Stoker, Drake Mailes, Destry Grogan, Capt. Jake Bradosky, Lt. Col. Joe Hank, Kortnie Frye, Charles Alvey, Maj. Cheronda Spann, Lt. Jourdan Harris, Matt Woolley, Col. Don Hunt, Brian Zwerdlin, Capt. Chris Benson, Sharen Wirkus, Brooke McNally, Paul Catmull, Kyle Fox, Jay Jacobs, Steven Knight, Michael Hensley, John Corriea, John Stedge, Candice Gebhardt, David Turner, Mari Meguro, Maj. Marcus Wells, Lynn Betts, Godwin Shelley, Bruce Arnold, Darren Rabosky, Lt. Col. Chad Searle, Jeremy Bodin, Phil Jones, Roy Ramey, Mark Elkins, Kevin Zimmerschied, Bruce Dennison, Lt. Yazmin Garcia-Smith, Scott Wessell, Wesley Pound, Jaime Veglia, Nicholas Maughan, Stephen Huve, Logan Harris, Irvin Jacobs, Sandi Marino, Paul Chisholm, David Garrett, Alex Landon, Casey Sherman, Kurt Schmidt, Michael Davenport, Tyler Deamer, Christiansen Christian, Don Jacob, Lt. Christopher Hopkins, John Palmer, Jeffrey Nusser, Megan Wheeler, Cindy Aguillard, Yvonne Romero, Lauri Clark, Donald Sandberg, Kelsey Porto, Shannon Clugston, Micheal Bowles, Matthew Poll, Gavin Poston, Paul Chisholm, Howard Eugh, Matt Regan)

Nuclear & Missile Operations Award winners are:

 - Operator: 1st Lt. James Kegyes, 12th Missile Squadron, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana

- Company Grade Officer of the Year: Capt. Victoria Gaines, 341st Operations Support Squadron, Malmstrom AFB, Montana

- Field Grade Officer of the Year: Maj. Jared Miller, 12th Missile Squadron, Malmstrom AFB, Montana

The Nuclear Operations Awards Program is administered and overseen by deputy chief of staff, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, Headquarters Air Force in accordance with AFI 36-2870, Nuclear Operations Awards Program.

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