GUANG Recognizes “Best of the Best”

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Guam – Members of the Guam Air National Guard (GUANG) were recognized for their superior achievements and exceptional performance during the Outstanding Airmen of the Year enlisted awards banquet March 29th at the Leo Palace Resort Guam.

Twelve Airmen from the GUANG’s four units, 254th Air Base Group (ABG), 254th Force Support Squadron (FSS), 254th Red Horse Squadron (RHS) and the 254th Security Forces Squadron were nominated for the top award in three categories, Airman of the Year, Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year and Senior NCO of the Year.

“This banquet is a great opportunity to recognize all that our Airmen have done and have contributed to our Island and our Nation”, said Major General Benny M. Paulino, The Adjutant General of the Guam National Guard.  “I have great pride leading such Airmen and I thank the families for their support in all we do.  The Air Guard has always been there when we need them.  A unit we can count on and a unit we can never do without,” he said.

More than 400 Airmen, family members and guests witnessed the event and the announcement of the three winners:

* The Airman of the Year:     Senior Airman Jonathan Castro   254 RHS
* NCO of the Year:                Staff Sergeant John Chaco           254 SFS
* Senior NCO of the Year:    Master Sergeant Richard Flores   254 SFS

Aside from ifitwood trophies to recognize their accomplishments, the Airmen received gift baskets filled with a variety of gifts.

“Our Airmen have never hesitated to answer the call to serve.  Not only have they stepped up, but they continue to set the bar at such a high level, putting Guam on the map.  Selecting the top Airman was not easy as all of our members have what it takes to be on top!” said Command Chief Master Sergeant Gerard Damian, Senior Enlisted Advisor for the GUANG.

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 then compete in the Air Force wide selection of the top Airmen.  Guam Guard Airmen in recent years have won in all three higher level competitions.

The competition spanned throughout the year.  A selection committee rated accomplishments of each Airman and the winners will move on to compete at the Pacific Air Forces and the National Guard levels where Guam has seen success in past years.