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Old 06-23-2018, 12:58 PM
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Thumbs up These are the Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year

These are the Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year
By: Victoria Leoni and Noah Nash

The Air Force has announced this year’s Outstanding Airmen of the Year winners.

The 12 winners represent the service’s top enlisted members and were selected from a pool of 36 nominees based on their superior leadership, job performance and personal achievements.

The winners are listed below in alphabetic order. (photo's of each on site only):

1. Senior Master Sgt. Melissa Beam, Air Combat Command

Beam is the Distributed Ground System-1 Analysis and Reporting Team flight chief for the 497th Operations Support Squadron at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia. She oversees a team of 124 airmen, providing 24-hour intelligence to five combatant commanders and in direct support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

Beam entered the Air Force in 1998 and has deployed twice in support of Operation Southern Watch.

2. Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Caulfield, Air Force District of Washington

Caulfield is assigned to the Signals Analysis Squadron at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, where she analyzes and reports scientific and technical data from worldwide reconnaissance missions. She joined the Air Force in 2012 and has deployed to Qatar, Greece and England as part of the analysis team for the Combat Sent aircraft.

3. Staff Sgt. Wilson Gardner, Air National Guard

Gardner is an airfield systems craftsman, assigned to the 202nd Engineering Installation Squadron at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. His responsibilities include managing fixed and mobile meteorological, navigational and air traffic control ground-to-air radio systems.

Gardner is currently on a Title 10 tour in support of United States Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. He has voluntarily deployed for more than 450 days and is currently serving his third tour of duty.

4. Senior Master Sgt. Ruth Griffin, Air Force Global Strike Command

Griffin is the operations and compliance management flight superintendent for the 2nd Logistics Readiness Squadron at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. She is charged with overseeing unit programs and ensuring operational compliance and process efficiency.
Among other things, Griffin is responsible for maintaining Air Force Global Strike Command’s largest supply inventory, valued at more than $700 million.

5. Tech. Sgt. Brett Laswell, Air Force Special Operations Command

Laswell is in charge of the combat readiness of 41 enlisted Special Mission Aviator personnel, among other responsibilities, at the 4th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field in Florida.

Laswell enlisted in the Air Force in 2005 and has worked in various capacities in the aerospace propulsion career field. He has deployed on five occasions, including four times to Afghanistan.

6. Master Sgt. Kit Lui, Air Force Reserve Command

Lui is the noncommissioned officer in charge of the engineering section of the 433rd Civil Engineer Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio in Texas. His responsibilities include directing and performing civil engineering design, drafting, surveying and contract surveillance to support Air Force facility construction and maintenance programs.

Lui joined the Air Force in 2006 and has deployed to numerous countries and undisclosed locations throughout his career, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and Syria.

7. Master Sgt. Joshua Matias, Air Education and Training Command

A Chicago-born native of Milwaukee, Matias began his career as an air traffic control apprentice at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, in 2004.

Now, Matias is the air traffic control tower chief controller for the 14th Operations Support Squadron. While overseeing 28 personnel, he is charged with establishing policy to ensure the safe and expeditious flow of air traffic control operations.

8. Tech Sgt. David Miller, U.S. Air Forces in Europe

Miller, who joined the Air Force in January 2008, is the unit deployment manager and unit training manager for the 48th Contracting Squadron. He conducts all administrative functions for 48 personnel deployed to support the Air Force’s mission.

Miller has deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Inherent Resolve.

9. Senior Airman Patrick Schilling, Air Force Materiel Command

As an explosive ordnance disposal technician for the 775th Civil Engineer Squadron, Schilling supports the Utah Test and Training Range, the Air Force’s largest single use contiguous air space.

Schilling was born in Florida and managed a small restaurant in Sarasota before deciding to join the Air Force in 2013.

10. Tech Sgt. April Spilde, Air Force Space Command

Spilde, a Bravo flight chief at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, leads 135 airmen securing $10.2 billion in space launch assets.

A native of Minneapolis, Spilde has been stationed in Alaska and Washington, D.C., and has also been deployed to Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates since joining the Air Force in 2008.

11. Senior Master Sgt. Lucero Stockett, Air Mobility Command

Stockett, who grew up in El Paso, Texas, has been with the Air Force since May 2002.

As the superintendent of the 6th Air Refueling Squadron at Travis Air Force Base in California, she oversees the management and supervision of 32 boom operators. Stockett has deployed multiple times in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

12. Senior Airman Jon Taitano, Pacific Air Force

Taitano, a combat communicator and client systems technician assigned to the 644th Combat Communications Squadron, 36th Contingency Response Group, 36th Wing, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, is responsible for maintaining and troubleshooting classified and unclassified communications systems in direct support of combat communicators, among other roles.

Taitano graduated from the University of Guam with a degree in biology in 2006, and was promoted to senior airman in August 2017.


Congrats to all you Air-Dale's on a job well done!


O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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