EADS Announces Annual Award Winners
By Tim Jones, Eastern Air Defense Sector
/ Published January 17, 2020
The Eastern Air Defense Sector and the New York Air National Guard’s 224th Air Defense Group has named their annual award winners for 2019.
“EADS’ air defense mission requires engaged and consistent excellence from all of our members,” said Col. Paul Bishop, 224th Air Defense Group 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 224th ADG is composed of the 224th Air Defense Squadron and 224th Support Squadron, located in Rome, and Detachment 1 and Detachment 2 that serve in the Washington, D.C. area. The 224th ADG provides the forces to conduct the Eastern Air Defense Sector’s mission. Part of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the Sector is responsible for the air defense of the eastern U.S.
This year, EADS recognized members of it full-time force, Drill Status Guard (DSG) force – traditional National Guardsmen who serve one weekend a month – and federal civilians. Awards were presented in 11 separate categories: full-time and DSG company grade officer (junior officers below the rank of major), senior noncommissioned officer, full-time and DSG noncommissioned officer, junior enlisted airman, honor guard program manager, and civilians in three categories.
The annual awards ceremony was held at the Oneida Community Mansion House in Oneida on Saturday, Jan. 11.
Award recipients were:
- Capt. Jason Cole, Outstanding Company Grade Officer. Rated “exceptional in all areas,” Cole played a key role in planning and conducting air defense operations for the Super Bowl, United Nations General Assembly and Presidential travel.
- Capt. Joe Breunig, Outstanding DSG Company Grade Officer. An expert cyber officer, Breunig developed 50 tests for one of the unit’s new computer networks. Recognized for integrating his civilian skills with the military mission, Breunig helped improve unit budgeting methods and critical incident procedures.
- Master Sgt. Jason Rutherford, Outstanding Senior Noncommissioned Officer. The NCOIC of the Communications Focal Point, Rutherford directed more than 300 computer maintenance and radar events for Presidential travel. He also merged nearly 3,000 tasks from 11 different training plans into a single plan, an innovation that was adopted as a template by the other NORAD air defense sectors.
- Staff Sgt. Jordan Jarecki, Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer. Jarecki analyzed 67 operations as part of unit’s Tactics Working Group, directly improving training, tactical performance, and mission effectiveness. Devised paperless database to track more than 140 training events and served as Squadron Operational Security coordinator.
- Tech. Sgt. Jeffery Coleman, Outstanding DSG Noncommissioned Officer. Part-time tracking technician who supported multiple Sector operations and exercises. Recognized for outstanding work during United Nations General Assembly and for volunteering at 24 unit events.
- Staff Sgt. Gary Gillespie, Outstanding Airman. Intelligence analyst recognized for coordinating multi-team project with 10 outside agencies and for mission planning with U.S. Navy. Served as lead intelligence instructor for unit’s initial qualification program and seamlessly integrated intelligence operations with new cyber defense initiative.
- Mr. Sonepith Keoviengsamay, Outstanding Civilian (Category III). Led update program for more than 100 command and control devices while serving as program lead for major software upgrade. Keoviengsamay was also responsible for vital information assurance program, validating more than 400 security controls essential to conducting the air defense mission.
- Mr. David Parker, Outstanding Civilian (Category II). Responsible for radio spectrum management efforts, coordinating and de-conflicting EADS’ missions with the Federal Aviation Administration. In addition, Parker played a key role in $1 million communications upgrade and designed communications architecture for Washington, D.C. area operational test.
- Ms. Diane Burton, Outstanding Civilian (Category I). Essential administrator whose clerical support enabled members’ temporary duty travel, medical appointments and training. Also served as critical support for unit executive officer, ensuring personnel records were 100 percent accurate.
- Tech. Sgt. Michael Carson, Outstanding Honor Guard Manager. A computer maintenance supervisor, Carson manages the Honor Guard as an additional duty. Planned and coordinated 154 events, while personally participating in 24 military funerals and 29 color details. Recognized for Honor Guard work by 1st Air Force Commander and Command Chief Master Sergeant.
- Staff Sgt. Edward Pugh, Outstanding Honor Guard Member. A tracking technician instructor, Pugh devoted 81 hours of his personal time to Honor Guard activities. He participated in 27 color details, including 10 veterans’ funerals. Also directed Flag Day event for 420 students at local elementary school.