Three New York Air National Guardsmen from the Eastern Air Defense Sector’s 224th Air Defense Group have been selected as annual award winners by the First Air Force and New York Air National Guard.
Master Sgt. James Burke of Camden and Tech. Sgt. John McCormick of Oriskany Falls won awards administered by the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region-First Air Force (CONR-1AF), headquartered at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. Burke was the Command and Control Warrior of the Year in the enlisted category and McCormick was named Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.
Master Sgt. Natasha VanDeusen, Rome, received the New York Air National Guard’s Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year award. The New York Air National Guard has more than 5,800 members in five flying units and four geographically-separated supporting units
Burke was recognized for his performance as a mission crew commander technician, where he was ranked first among 20 Airmen at EADS. Burke also led his section to the highest-possible rating during the Air Combat Command Capstone Inspection, while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average in his military history master’s degree program.
McCormick was recognized for his expertise in maintaining and repairing radar, computer servers and software. Hand-picked by the National Guard Bureau to support work related to automated command and control tasks, 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.
CONR is one of three NORAD regions, along with the Canadian NORAD Region (CANR) and the Alaskan NORAD Region (ANR), 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 (WADS).
VanDeusen, the state’s Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, led her section to an Inspector General’s Superior Team award during the recent ACC Capstone Inspection. A mentor and leader, she was selected to teach Air Forces standards to junior Airmen and serve as unit’s Equal Opportunity representative, ensuring equal treatment for more than 400 members.
“Being named the best in your field at the state Air National Guard and First Air Force level is a remarkable achievement and I congratulate Master Sgt. Burke, Master Sgt. VanDeusen and Tech. Sgt. McCormick on their accomplishments,” said Col. Emil Filkorn, EADS Commander. “Winning three awards of this magnitude is also a great accomplishment for the unit and a reflection of the professionalism and dedication of our entire staff.”
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.