Feb. 18, 2010

Virginia Air National Guard names top enlisted members for 2009

By Lt. Col. Deb Magaldi
Virginia Air Guard Public Affairs

RICHMOND, Va. — The top Airmen from across the Virginia Air National Guard sat before a rigorous review board in December 2009. After evaluating each candidate's accomplishments and professionalism, the board selected and Virginia's Chief of Staff for Air approved the winners of the 2009 Virginia Air National Guard Outstanding Airmen of the Year awards.

  Tech Sgt. Matthew Smith

Tech. Sgt. Matthew Smith, an element leader and pavement construction equipment craftsman with the 203d RED HORSE Squadron, was named Virginia Air National Guard Outstanding NCO of the Year.

The board selects an outstanding Airman, noncommissioned officer and senior NCO, and from them, the overall Outstanding Guardsman of the Year for the Virginia Air National Guard.

Virginia Air National Guard Outstanding Guardsman for 2009 and Outstanding NCO of the Year

The Virginia Air National Guard Outstanding Guardsman for 2009 honor and the Outstanding NCO of the Year title went to Tech. Sgt. Matthew Smith, an element leader and pavement construction equipment craftsman with the 203d RED HORSE Squadron, based at the State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach.

RED HORSE commander, Lt. Col. Pete Garner, described Smith's performance as "nothing less than outstanding."

"Sergeant Smith has been a leader with the 203d RHS for many years and 2009 was certainly no exception," Garner noted. "He developed outstanding training tracking and safety programs for the [203d's] Airfields Flight while expertly mentoring nine airmen. He was chosen to represent the unit in a state-wide joint natural disaster training exercise and was the NCO in charge of the unit's support to the Remote Area Medical program. He is completely dedicated to the advancement and mentoring of unit personnel, to continuous self-education, and to community involvement. His accomplishments…are a testimony to his total dedication to the mission and military life."

Smith takes seriously his responsibility as an element leader in the Airfields Flight, providing career guidance and training opportunities and ensuring that his personnel are current on all unit requirements. In addition, he has enhanced unit retention by doing research on and briefing unit personnel about the benefits available to them.

Extending beyond that, he created a comprehensive training tracking process for shop personnel that provides supervisors and trainees with a quick snapshot of training and upgrade requirements. He developed a detailed and comprehensive shop organizational chart, which has enhanced the shop's ability to operate more efficiently.

As the Flight Safety Representative, he revised the entire safety program in preparation for the Unit Compliance Inspection; his efforts led to zero findings during the inspection. Smith tailors monthly safety briefings to current missions, which has been cited as helping to achieve zero incidents during the fiscal year.

Smith was selected to represent the RED HORSE and the Virginia Air National Guard during Irish Rain, a joint, state-level hurricane response exercise conducted in June at the State Military Reservation. His vast knowledge of the 203d and its capabilities were critical to establishing a state disaster response plan. He also organized a convoy to deliver critical supplies, within tight time constraints, and erected medical screening tents for patients, in support of Virginia's Remote Area Medical Facility. His efforts and effectiveness made it possible to provide much-needed medical services to more than 400 residents of Wise, Va.

Outstanding Senior NCO of the Year

  Senior Master Sgt. Ivonne Viniard

Senior Master Sgt. Ivonne Viniard, with the 192d Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base, was named the Virginia National Guard Outstanding Senior NCO of the Year.

Senior Master Sgt. Ivonne Viniard, with the 192d Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base, was named the Outstanding Senior NCO of the Year. Viniard is the 192d Operations Group Intelligence Superintendant. "Senior Master Sgt. Viniard's leadership has been critical in establishing standardized Total Force Integration/F-22 operations at Langley AFB," noted 192d Operations Support Flight commander, Lt. Col. Patrick DeConcini. "She was integral to the success of the F-22 Phase I Operational Readiness Exercises, which helped prepare the 1st/192d Fighter Wings for success in the upcoming ORI. In addition, her contributions to security management and deployed, reach-back support for overseas operations were outstanding."

DeConcini described Viniard as extremely competent, proactive, energetic and highly respected by those she works with and for. As the 1st/192d Operations Groups lead on a $7 million Operations Group headquarters building project, Viniard coordinated details for a broad range of requirements, ranging from security and communication to space allocation. She identified a design flaw in part of the project and crafted a new plan to meet demands. Viniard also championed a $500,000 funding allocation to make infrastructure and computer upgrades, and redesigned the integrated workcenter.

She converted a series of individual training records to digital format to comply with Air Combat Command requirements, and designed and implemented a new database for unit personnel. Viniard helped create exercise scenarios and performed as an evaluator during the 1st/192d FWs' Operational Readiness Exercise.

Outstanding Airman of the Year

  Senior Airman Domonique Anderson

Senior Airman Domonique Anderson, a logistics craftsman with the 192d Fighter Wing, was named the Virginia Air National Guard Outstanding Airman of the Year.

Senior Airman Domonique Anderson, a logistics craftsman with the 192d Fighter Wing, was named the Outstanding Airman of the Year. Airman Anderson is a member of the 192d Supply Chain Management Squadron that is integrated with the 735th Supply Chain Management Group at Langley AFB.

As such, she is responsible for handling the ordering and shipment of millions of dollars worth of mission-critical aircraft components and support supplies. While doing her job, she has taken the initiative to streamline processes, cut redundancies, and reduce the rate of rejected transactions and customers' wait times. She has handled large-volume procurements and expedited transactions involving urgent shipments. Her work helps to keep client units doing their mission in locations around the world. She also actively mentors new Airmen.

"Airman Anderson has an intense degree of self-initiative and an unmatched desire to achieve the highest standards in every endeavor undertaken," says 192d Supply Chain Management squadron commander, Lt. Col. John G. Denson.

"All of the candidates that went before the board were outstanding Airmen. And we thank each candidate for the service, professionalism and dedication that they've given to the nation and to Virginia," said Chief Master Sgt. Barry Coleman, Virginia Air National Guard Command Chief. "Each of the 2009 Outstanding Airmen of the Year award recipients displayed the exceptional qualities that make the Virginia Air National Guard such an exemplary organization. I'm proud to serve with each and every one of them. They truly are the best of the best."

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