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50 SW honors annual award winners

Col. DeAnna Burt (left), 50th Space Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. David Pesch (right), then 50 SW command chief, honor 50 SW annual award winners after the 2016 50 SW Annual Awards Banquet at the Club on Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. Nominees included Airmen and civilians at Schriever Air Force Base as well as team members from 50 SW geographically separated units. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dennis Rogers)

Col. DeAnna Burt (left), 50th Space Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. David Pesch (right), then 50 SW command chief, honor 50 SW annual award winners after the 2016 50 SW Annual Awards Banquet at the Club on Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. Nominees included Airmen and civilians at Schriever Air Force Base as well as team members from 50 SW geographically separated units. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dennis Rogers)

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Chuck Zimkas, the first Air Force Space Command Senior Enlisted Advisor and guest speaker, addresses attendees during the 2016 50th Space Wing Annual Awards Banquet at the Club on Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. Zimkas has deep roots in AFSPC, serving under Gen. James V. Hartinger during his career. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dennis Rogers)

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Chuck Zimkas, the first Air Force Space Command Senior Enlisted Advisor and guest speaker, addresses attendees during the 2016 50th Space Wing Annual Awards Banquet at the Club on Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. Zimkas has deep roots in AFSPC, serving under Gen. James V. Hartinger during his career. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dennis Rogers)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

50th Space Wing nominees, teammates and families rallied in anticipation during the 2016 50th Space Wing Annual Awards Banquet at the Club, Thursday.

Nominees included Airmen and civilians at Schriever Air Force Base as well as team members from 50 SW geographically separated units.

“I want to say thanks tonight, it is an honor to be your commander,” said Col. DeAnna Burt, 50 SW commander, during her opening remarks. “(Tech. Sgt. Katrena Holmes, master of ceremonies) asked me ‘how do I deal with all this awesomeness?’ It’s easy, because it’s a joy to watch all of you, every day, day-in and day-out, crush the mission.”

The night kicked-off with a pre-event medallion ceremony, honoring all nominees for their achievements. Families and friends cheered on those recognized before moving to the main hall for the program and dinner.

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Chuck Zimkas served as guest speaker for the night. Zimkas, the first Air Force Space Command Senior Enlisted Advisor, has deep roots in AFSPC, serving under Gen. James V. Hartinger during his career.

He recalled three words of wisdom received from Col. Jim Irwin, Apollo 15 astronaut, about success; “Decisions determine destinations.” Irwin’s decisions and work ethic throughout his career led him to become the eighth man to reach the moon.

Zimkas said he believed the 50 SW award nominees understood and applied that same wisdom.

“Our award nominees made a decision that they wanted to be the best at what they did for their unit and the 50th Space Wing,” he explained. “Their determination led the way in fulfilling that commitment, and now await the announcement of the wing’s annual award winners – destination reached. What an accomplishment as well as sincere effort on their part, to set the stage for success.”

Burt added the achievements were a team effort, thanking teammates, spouses and family members, ensuring they shared the spotlight as well. Nominees were told to be proud, whether or not they earned the overall award.

“Tonight we’re going to recognize within each of the groups some winners and nominees, but I will tell you you’re all winners in my mind because again, every one of you come to work and give every bit you have. And that’s very obvious to me, and it is an honor to serve for and with you every day. So thank you for what you do,” she said.

The 2016 50 SW Annual Award winners are:

Airman                                           Senior Airman Edwin Alas, 3rd Space Operations Squadron
NCO                                               Tech. Sgt. Danielle S. Staiger, 4th Space Operations Squadron
Senior-NCO                                  Master Sgt. Ryan F. Klemcke, 50th Space Communications Squadron
First sergeant                                Master Sgt. Zachary A. Parish, 50th Security Forces Squadron
Company Grade Officer              Maj. Jason D. Brown, 21st Space Operations Squadron
Field Grade Officer                       Maj. William C. McGillivray, 4 SOPS
Civilian Category I                        Mr. Daniel L. Gardner, 50th Civil Engineer Squadron
Civilian Category II                       Mr. Christopher J. Babauta, 21 SOPS
Civilian Supervisor Category I   Mr. LeeRoy H. Wymer, 21 SOPS
Civilian Supervisor Category II  Ms. Kristin A. Heikkila, 50th Contracting Squadron
Key Spouse                                   Ms. Natalie S. McCoy, 50th Security Forces Squadron
Detachment of the Year               Detachment 3, 21 SOPS
Innovator of the Year                    1st Lt. Brandon Sexton, 1st Space Operations Squadron
Honor Guardsman of the Year   Staff Sgt. Jonathan Howard, 50 CES

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