February 11, 2009

Virginia Air National Guard names top enlisted members for 2009

By Capt. Dianna Lebedev
Virginia Air Guard Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. Kelly Childress

Staff Sgt. Kelly Childress

  Senior Airman Jesse Brown
Senior Airman Jesse Brown
Master Sgt. Christopher Plath
Master Sgt. Christopher Plath
Master Sgt. James Profita
Master Sgt. James Profita

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. — Top candidates from across the Virginia Air National Guard sat before a rigorous review board during the December 2008 drill weekend. After discussion of each candidate’s exceptional qualities and accomplishments, the board announced the winners of the 2009 Virginia Air National Guard Outstanding Airmen of the Year awards.

A staff sergeant from the 192nd Fighter Wing's Intelligence Squadron was named the Outstanding Virginia Air National Guardsman for 2009. Staff Sgt. Kelly Childress, 192nd Intel. Squadron, earned the top Virginia Air Guard honor in addition to being named the Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.

In the Airman category, Senior Airman Jesse Brown, 192nd Operations Support Flight, received Outstanding Airman of the Year honors. The 192nd Fighter Wing commander, Col. Mark McCauley, commended Brown as a model Airman who has quickly become the “go-to guy” for intelligence support for both the Guard and active duty. This past year, Brown analyzed 24,000 intelligence reports, as an intelligence operations analyst. He also created an interactive, multimedia study guide for the annual F-22 pilot threat exam which resulted in scores above 90 percent. Brown was a two-time recipient of “Superior Performer” accolades during inspections held during February and March. McCauley described Brown’s performance as “habitually excellent.”

Among the noncommissioned officer candidates, Childress, 192nd Intel. Squadron, earned the Outstanding NCO of the Year title and the lead title of Outstanding Virginia Air National Guardsman for 2009. Childress led the way in her section with over 1,000 mission hours as a multi-source analyst. She completed multi-source analyst requalification earning an Exceptionally Qualified rating which is limited to the top two percent of all analysts. Childress is an Instructor Rated Operator and has trained 15 multi-source analysts. McCauley commended Childress as, “a model Airman and a superb example of what the ANG brings to the total force.”

The Airman of the Year Review Board was impressed with several standout qualities that lead to Childress' selection as the Outstanding Guardsman of the Year for the Virginia Air National Guard. The board was very impressed by her exceptional job performance as noted on her AF Form 1206.  In addition, the board observed her high degree of professionalism during her interview, her dedication to the Virginia Air National Guard and her positive energy. Equally impressive was her willingness to be a mentor to those in her Squadron.

Receiving the Outstanding Senior NCO of the Year award is Master Sgt. Christopher Plath, the 192nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron supervisor. Plath manages over 400 training needs for the 27th Aircraft Maintenance Section. He executed eight F-22A Operation Noble Eagle missions which occurred during a 192nd Unit Training Assembly at Langley Air Force Base. Plath recently completed NCO Academy and is already enrolled in the Senior NCO Academy. Maj. Jeffrey Ryan, 192nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander, noted that, “Sgt. Plath is without a doubt a winner and team player who promotes unity and integrity for others to emulate.”

Outstanding First Sergeant of the Year honors were awarded to Master Sgt. James Profita, representing the 192nd Security Forces Squadron.  Profita volunteered off-duty time to support deploying personnel prepare for their time away from family and civilian careers.  He acts as the cornerstone for the Security Forces Squadron, keeping pay records straight, making sure everyone has billeting, and maintaining a morale fund to keep morale high within the unit. The 192nd Security Forces Squadron Commander, 1st Lt. John Griffin, remarked that Profita, “leads by setting an excellent example and genuinely enjoys serving others.”

“These outstanding Airmen all 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,” said Chief Master Sgt. Barry Coleman, Virginia Air National Guard Command Chief.

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