EADS Wins Three 1st Air Force Annual Awards

Cole is CONR-1AF C2 Warrior of the Year

CONR-1AF C2 Warrior of the Year

Intel Section Wins CONR-1AF Annual Award

The 224th Air Defense Squadron Intelligence section was recently named the best in their field for 2017 by the Continental U.S. NORAD Region-1st Air Force (CONR-1AF). The section was named Outstanding Operational Support Flight among Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance units. Pictured, front row, left to right, are Tech. Sgt. Michael Valenti, Maj. Alison Becker, Tech. Sgt. James Sankey. Back row, left to right, Airman 1st Class Gary Gillespie, Maj. Mike Geer, Master Sgt. Clifford Fallico and Lt. Col. Stephen Fritschi.

Rome, New York --

The Eastern Air Defense Sector (EADS) recently received three annual awards from the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command-1st Air Force (CONR-1AF).

Award winners were:

-Capt. Jason Cole of Whitesboro, an air battle manager at the New York Air National Guard's 224th Air Defense Squadron, was named Command and Control (C2) Warrior of the Year. Cole was cited for his outstanding work in support of Presidential travel, the United Nations General Assembly, hurricane relief and training.

-The 224th Air Defense Squadron's Intelligence Section won the Outstanding Operational Support Flight among Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) units. The section's educational and training efforts - it provided more than 200 briefings - were recognized as exemplary. Other notable achievements included integrating intelligence into cyber protection and identifying and correcting vulnerabilities. The section is composed of Lt. Col. Steve Fritschi, Clinton: Maj. Alison Becker, Valatia; Maj. Michael Geer, Oneida; Master Sgt. Clifford Fallico, Rome: Tech. Sgt. James Sankey, Vernon; Tech. Sgt. Michael Valenti, Springfield; Airman 1st Class Gary Gillespie, Rome.

-EADS also received CONR-1st Air Force's outstanding command and control unit award. Major accomplishments included overseeing air defense at the Presidential inauguration, coordinating 65 days of hurricane relief operations that featured 1,350 search and rescue missions, 10 million pounds of cargo delivery and evacuated 10,000 people. The unit was also recognized for incorporating innovative new systems into air defense, developing a new operations floor layout that separated training from real-world activity for the first-time at the Rome facility, and providing thousands of volunteer hours for community projects.

"Winning an annual award in an organization as large as CONR-1st Air Force is a remarkable achievement and I congratulate Capt. Cole, the ADS intelligence section and the entire unit," said Col. Emil Filkorn, EADS Commander. "As a Commander, the awards are especially gratifying because they recognize the things I see every day: the professional skill, technical excellence and personal dedication that makes EADS successful."

The awards were presented at CONR-1st Air Force's annual awards luncheon on March 6 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.

CONR is one of three NORAD regions, along with the Canadian NORAD Region and the Alaskan NORAD Region, in the bi-national Canadian-American air defense command. The First Air Force is comprised 10 Air National Guard fighter wings and two air defense sectors, EADS and the Western Air Defense Sector.

The Eastern Air Defense Sector is a North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) headquarters unit located at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome, New York. Responsible for the air defense of 180 million Americans in the eastern United States, EADS is composed of New York Air National Guardsmen from the 224th Air Defense Group, a Canadian Forces detachment, Army, Navy and Coast Guard liaison officers, and federal civilians. EADS also has two detachments located in the National Capital Region.