Rome, NY -- More than 100 New York Air National Guardsmen, Canadian Forces members and guests were in attendance at the Radisson Hotel in Utica on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, as the Eastern Air Defense Sector recognized its outstanding performers from 2016.
"EADS' mission of enabling air defense for the 180 million Americans east of the Mississippi requires engaged and consistent excellence from all of our members," said Col. Emil Filkorn, EADS Commander. "This year's winners distinguished themselves by going above and beyond our high standards. I congratulate them on their outstanding accomplishments and thank them for their efforts."
The unit recognized outstanding performers in nine categories: company grade officer (junior officers below the rank of major), senior noncommissioned officer, noncommissioned officer, junior enlisted airman, honor guard program manager, honor guard member, officer instructor, enlisted instructor, and civilian.
Award recipients were:
· 1st Lt. Thomas Perkins, Baldwinsville, Outstanding Company Grade Officer. Perkins was recognized for re-energizing the information protection program and reducing the unit's security clearance backlog by more than 70 percent. As part of the effort, he established EADS' first-ever operational instruction on information protection, correcting several security issues. Perkins also instituted a security product review that saved the unit $27,000.
· Master Sgt. Natasha VanDeusen, Rome, Outstanding Senior Noncommissioned Officer. VanDeusen led her section to the Inspector General's Superior Team award during the Air Combat Command's Capstone Inspection in October. Recognized as a mentor and leader, she was selected to teach Air Forces standards to junior Airmen and served as unit's Equal Opportunity representative, ensuring equal treatment for more than 400 members. Active in all facets of the unit, VanDeusen also served as a physical training leader and organized several morale-building events.
· Tech. Sgt. John McCormick, Oriskany Falls, Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer. An expert in the cyber systems field who is responsible for trouble-shooting radar, computer servers and software, McCormick was hand-picked by the National Guard Bureau to support work related to automated command and control tasks. Highly motivated and professional, he completed his college degree in audio engineering with a 3.6 grade point average, while finishing the Air Force's NCO Academy course eight months ahead of schedule.
· Sr. Airman Jordan Jarecki, Sherrill, Outstanding Junior Enlisted Airman. An exceptional instructor for a junior Airman, Jarecki led seven students through 285 hours of training. Known for his attention to detail, he was chosen to revise an instructor's guide and lead a procedural review on the use of secure safes. Jarecki also performed a number of additional duties superbly, serving as the unit historian and managing a 62-member flight roster.
· Mr. Arnold Zumbrun, Rome, Outstanding Civilian. A project manager and resource adviser who facilitated nearly $1 million in purchases while managing multiple contracts. Zumbrun played a key role in completing a long-awaited project that greatly improved connectivity between EADS and its Detachment 2 in the Washington, D.C. area, fixing a long-identified mission gap.
· Capt. Christian Sanchez, Oneida, Outstanding Instructor, Officer. Sanchez completed instructor training 30 days ahead of schedule, easing a manpower challenge the unit was facing. He then served as instructor for more than 70 training events and oversaw 135 hours of upgrade training. Sanchez played in key role in preparing EADS for NORAD's large-scale Vigilant Shield exercise, training 58 Airmen for their roles in the event.
· Tech. Sgt. Corey Reynolds, Durhamville, Outstanding Instructor, Enlisted. Reynolds created an accelerated training program, compressing a 150-day plan into 60 days. A prolific instructor, Reynolds taught more than 1,200 hours last year and every Airmen assigned to him was rated qualified upon the completion of training. He also developed more than 40 simulated exercises, which helped streamline unit training efforts.
· Staff Sgt. Marie Coar, Taberg, Outstanding Honor Guard Program Manager. Coar orchestrated Honor Guard details for 62 veterans' funerals and 17 events in Central New York. An effective trainer and team-builder, she recruited local Air Force, Army and Navy personnel, enabling EADS to provide a joint service Honor Guard on several occasions. In addition to managing 34 members, Coar personally participated in one-quarter of the unit's Honor Guard details.
· Sr. Airman Christopher Dorion, Syracuse, Outstanding Honor Guard Member. A dedicated Airman, Dorion volunteered 58 hours of personal time to support 11 funerals and four events. He also coordinated with funeral home directors on behalf of the program manager and established training schedules for 25 Honor Guard members.
Brig. Gen. Timothy J. LaBarge, the Chief of Staff of the New York Air National Guard, was the event's guest speaker. Command Chief Master Sgt. Amy Giaquinto, the Command Chief Master Sgt. of the New York Air National Guard, also attended.
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 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.