Eastern Air Defense Sector personnel have won seven annual awards from the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region-First Air Force (CONR-1AF) and Air Forces Northern (AFNORTH).
Located at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, CONR and AFNORTH each recognize annual award winners and administer a combined CONR-AFNORTH awards program as well.
“It’s a remarkable achievement to win individual awards in organizations as large as CONR and AFNORTH and I congratulate our six individual winners on their outstanding accomplishments,” said Col. Paul M. Bishop, EADS Commander. “As a Commander, the awards are especially gratifying because they recognize the professional skill, technical excellence and personal dedication that I see every day.”
Five New York Air National Guardsmen and one civilian employee received awards. Recipients included:
Lt. Col. Jennifer King, CONR Outstanding Field Grade Officer. A flight commander with the 224th Air Defense Squadron, King successfully supervised 52 Airmen during a wide variety of operations, including 28 temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) for presidential travel and 10 large-scale exercises. She also led EADS efforts supporting the SpaceX mission to replenish the International Space Station, served as key member of the command and control (C2) system modernization team, and coordinated new cruise missile defense capabilities with multiple agencies.
Capt. Eric Schenck won two awards. Schenck earned the CONR-1AF (AFNORTH) Command and Control (C2) Warrior of the Year award and AFNORTH’s Outstanding Company Grade Officer (CGO) award. The Weapons and Tactics Chief at the 224th Air Defense Squadron, Schenck planned 70 missions that enforced temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) for Presidential travel, manned space launches and national security events. These missions required coordination with 11 flying units and 540 aircraft sorties. Schenck also led a 31-member NORAD team that developed new combat identification procedures and supervised the training of more than 130 EADS Airmen.
Master Sgt. Jason Cheramie, CONR-1AF (AFNORTH) Outstanding First Sergeant/Senior Enlisted Advisor. The 224th Air Defense Group’s First Sergeant, Cheramie organized and directed 11 unit-wide morale and recreation events for Airmen and 250 family members. He wrote the Group’s initial awards program operating instruction, secured emergency mental health services to ensure a member’s safety and reviewed and edited more than 300 Airmen evaluations.
Master Sgt. Robert Aikins, CONR-1AF (AFNORTH) Security Forces Sentry of the Year. A Security Forces operations supervisor at the 224th Support Squadron, Aikins identified and corrected more than 20 deficiencies during inspections, overhauled the unit fitness program, and helped establish an integrated defense council. Aikins also organized and supervised the security detail at EADS 9/11 20th anniversary ceremony and coordinated an Air National Guard training course in Rome that more than 80 Airmen from across New York attended.
Airman 1st Class Megan Mills, CONR Junior Enlisted Airman of the Year. A surveillance technician at the 224th Air Defense Squadron, Mills detected more than 860 potential threats during 22 Presidential support missions and played an instrumental role in Operation Allied Refuge, monitoring 14 flights to the U.S. from Afghanistan. An accomplished graphic artist, Mills designed an infographic for the Air National Guard Command Chief Master Sergeant’s office and subsequently appeared on the Chief’s leadership podcast.
Ms. Alicia Morales, CONR Civilian of the Year (Category I). The 224th Air Defense Group’s Unit Program Coordinator, Morales scheduled and de-conflicted more than 1,600 events and supported dozens of Distinguished Visitor tours. She verified 75 security clearances as the acting Security Manager, served as the assistant editor of the unit newsletter and managed invitations for EADS 9/11 20th anniversary event.
The 224th Air Defense Group (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 www.dmna.ny.gov. For more information on the Eastern Air Defense Sector and the 224th Air Defense Group, visit www.eads.ang.af.mil.