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178th Fighter Wing member earns national award

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Joseph R. Stahl
  • 178th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
     Senior Airman Joshua Curtis, an airfield manager with the 178th Fighter Wing Operations Group, was selected as the 2010 Air National Guard Airfield Management Airman of the Year by the Director, Air, Space and Information Operations.

     Chief Master Sgt. Will Uithoven, 186th Air Refueling Wing, Meridian, Miss. Airfield Manager and Vice Chairman of the Airfield Management Advisory Council contacted the 178th Fighter Wing encouraging them to submit Airman Curtis for this award.

     "This type of work ethic deserves acknowledgement," said Chief Uithoven. "We often find good Airman that are worthy of recognition, but sometimes is hard to capture on paper. This was not the case for Airman Curtis," continued Chief Uithoven.

     The 186th Air Refueling Wing is in the midst of a mission conversion and is losing many of their airfield managers due to this change, and they needed volunteers to fill in. Airman Curtis volunteered for a 90-day tour.

     Airman Curtis said that he recognized that the resident airfield mangers spent a lot of time continuously having to train new people who came in for 90-day rotations. He wanted to relieve some of this burden so he took it upon himself to develop a guide, the Project Liberty Management Guide.

     Project Liberty is a program for training pilots and crew who fly the MC-12, which is a sensor-equipped Hawker Beechcraft C-12. The MC-12 is used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

     This guide would help new people answer questions or get information that they would need to perform their job, without disturbing the full-time airfield managers.

     "This guide helps take the load off of them, as far as training, and they could spin people up faster because when you first get down there, you can't immediately start because you need to get trained on the airfield, so this guide helped them to get people on the job quicker," said Airman Curtis.

     Chief Uithoven provided the 178 FW with bullet statements for inclusion in the award application.

     "Airman Curtis possesses an unbelievable can-do attitude. He is an Airman that we all wish we had in our work centers," said Chief Uithoven. "He is highly motivated and is not the type of Airman that just sits around waiting for instruction. He is thirsty for knowledge and constantly looking for a better way to accomplish a task or streamline a process. He volunteers at work as well as off duty."

     Senior Master Sgt. Benjamin Ross, 178 FW airfield manager and Chief Master Sgt. Ottis LeMaster completed the lengthy application process required to nominate Airman Curtis for this award.

     "It was a big effort, they put a lot of time and effort into it (the application)," said Airman Curtis.

     Airman Curtis has career aspirations to become a military aviator. He knows the path that he must take, and is well on his way towards achieving that goals.

     "Flying has always been a passion of mine," said Airman Curtis.

     He began flying lessons at 14 years of age, and completed his first solo flight at 16, even before he had a drivers license.

     Airman Curtis joined the Ohio Air National Guard after high school, and is taking advantage of the tuition program. He is currently a senior at Wright State University majoring in Organizational Leadership.
     Upon graduation, he would like to pursue a commission and become a pilot in the Air Force.

     Airman Curtis will now compete with all the active duty Air Force Airfield Managers Airman of the Year for the highest award. The overall winner will be announced sometime in the Spring.