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