Airmen, family members and guests came together to recognize the best from its ranks during the Guam Air National Guard’s Annual Enlisted Awards Banquet on Saturday, February 1st, at the Sheraton Resort Ballroom.
Thirteen Airmen from the Guam Air National Guard (GUANG)’s four units, 254th Air Base Group, 254th Force Support Squadron, 254th RED HORSE Squadron and the 254th Security Forces Squadron competed for the top awards in a fun, festive atmosphere.
Governor Lourdes Leon Guerrero, Commanding-In-Chief of the Guam National Guard, expressed her pride as she thanked the Airmen for what they do for the island and their families. She was joined by Maj. Gen. (GU) Esther Aguigui, The Adjutant General GUNG, Brig. Gen. Johnny S. Lizama, Assistant Adjutant General-Air, and other special guests to present the awards for the Outstanding Airmen of the year. And the winners are:
Airman of the Year:
Senior Airman Kyle Martinez, 254th Force Support Squadron
Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year:
Technical Sergeant Michael Rabago, 254th Air Base Group
Master Sergeant Heracleo Escobar III, 254th RED HORSE Squadron
Master Sergeant Bhill Alforque, 254th RED HORSE Squadron
Command Sergeant Major Christopher Kepner, who is responsible for advising the Chief of the National Guard Bureau on matters affecting the 350,000 enlisted Citizen-Warriors of the Army and Air National Guard, served as keynote speaker. He thanked Guam Guard leadership for the invitation, saying that “in the 40 years of my military service, this is the best military ball I’ve attended – the Guam Guard does it right!”
Kepner thanked the Airmen for all they continue to do for our country. He also reminded them to “always maintain standards and take care of Airmen and families. Just being nominated is an honor. Good luck to all!” he said.
Aside from glass trophies to recognize their accomplishments, the Airmen received gift baskets filled with a variety of gifts courtesy of the Guam Air National Guard’s Family Readiness Group and a variety of gift certificates, courtesy of the Guam Chamber of Commerce’s Armed Forces Committee.
The Guam Air National Guard winners now move on to vie for top Airman, among the Pacific Air Forces Air Guard units, and at the same time, go up against nominees from 53 other states and territories across the Air National Guard. If they win at this level, they will compete in the Air Force wide selection of the top Airmen. Last year, Staff Sergeant Matthew C. Naputi was selected as the 2018 ANG Region 7 NCO of the year.