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EADS names annual award winners

  • Published
  • By Tim Jones
  • Eastern Air Defense Sector

The Eastern Air Defense Sector (EADS) and the New York Air National Guard’s 224th Air Defense Group (ADG) have named their annual award winners for the past year.

“The nation’s air defense mission requires engaged and consistent excellence from all of our members,” said Col. Joseph F. Roos, 224th ADG Commander. “The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic made this past year especially demanding and our winners distinguished themselves by going above and beyond our high standards. I congratulate them on their outstanding accomplishments and thank them for their efforts.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s in-person ceremony has been cancelled. A virtual ceremony is currently being scheduled for March 5.

Award recipients were:

  • Capt. Justin Bush, Outstanding Company Grade Officer (CGO). Bush was recognized for work as the Joint Interface Control Cell Officer (JICO) and the Deputy Chief of Training at the 224th Air Defense Squadron (ADS). Achievements included synchronizing multiple systems that enabled EADS to transmit its air picture to 45 units. Bush also provided more than 230 hours of academic instruction to 25 students and augmented Battle Control Center operations during more than 20 exercises and training events.
  • 1st Lt. Nancy Peterson, Outstanding Company Grade Officer (CGO), Drill Status Guardsmen category. A traditional Air National Guard officer who serves one weekend a month with the 224th Support Squadron (SPTS), Peterson helped develop the initial training baseline for the unit’s cyber Mission Defense Team (MDT). The training program includes 200 instructional hours and became the standard for Battle Control Centers throughout NORAD. Peterson also led a team of 10 personnel that investigated mission vulnerabilities, collaborated on next generation data analytics, and served on a women’s engineering scholarship committee.
  • Master Sgt. Jeremy Stanbro, Outstanding Senior Noncommissioned Officer (NCO). The Noncommissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) of the unit’s Mission Defense Team, Stanbro served as the subject matter expert for a cyber defense group that supported 23 teams across the country. He was instrumental in developing a new radar inspection tool, which led to the Federal Aviation Administration’s first artificial intelligence defense capability. An exceptional student, Stanbro has his cyber security certification and recently earned a cyber security bachelor’s degree with a 4.0 grade point average.
  • Tech. Sgt. Frank Balash, Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer (NCO). An assistant NCOIC with the 224th SPTS, Balash supervised more than 2,000 maintenance events ensuring critical air defense capabilities functioned as designed. Balash led the unit’s participation in its first-ever interagency mission outage exercise and trained four Airmen in 225 different tasks. He also developed 13 exercises for the Communications Focal Point.
  • Airman 1st Class Mathew Cole, Outstanding Airman. A Security Forces Airman, Cole was recognized for his all-around outstanding performance. He had the top score in the unit’s marksmanship competition and played a critical role in stopping a potential gate runner. Cole provided outstanding support for denial barrier, active shooter and entry control training and played a key role in organizing and supporting the ADG Commander’s designated drivers program.
  • Mr. Dave Parker, Outstanding Civilian. A Joint Interface Control Cell (JICC) manager, Parker oversaw pandemic operations and helped ensure EADS’ mission continuity. Parker developed a squadron training course to conform with COVID guidelines, inserting spacing between positions and re-routing communications to ensure safe training. Parker also led a $1 million system upgrade and engineered an overhaul of systems architecture.
  • Tech. Sgt. Michael Carson, Outstanding Honor Guard Program Manager. A member of the 224th SPTS, Carson planned and managed 127 hours of Honor Guard details. The events included one funeral, nine color guard and two retirement flag ceremonies.
  • Staff Sgt. Edward Pugh, Outstanding Honor Guard Member. A member of the 224th ADS, Pugh participated in six Honor Guard details in addition to his regular duties.

The 224th ADG is composed of the 224th Air Defense Squadron (ADS) and 224th Support Squadron (SPTS), 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 (EADS) mission. Part of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the Sector is responsible for the air defense of the eastern U.S.

For more information about the New York Air National Guard, visit For more information on the Eastern Air Defense Sector and the 224th Air Defense Group, visit