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By Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, 177FW/PA
Master Sgt. Daniel T. Mitchell J and Senior Airman Walter R. Kienzle IV

Two of our own were recognized as the best.

But don’t take my word for it.

“Our candidates represent the finest uniformed and civilian members throughout the entire North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command community,” stated Maj. Gen. Henry C. Morrow, Commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, NORAD, 1st Air Force, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.

He’s speaking about Master Sgt. Daniel T. Mitchell Jr. who was chosen as the winner in the 2007 Overall Annual Awards Winners – 1st Air Force (AFNORTH)/CONUS NORAD Region First Sergeant Category, and Senior Airman Walter R. Kienzle IV who placed first in the 2007 Overall Annual Superior Performers - 1st Air Force/CONUS NORAD Region. Both are assigned to 177th Security Forces Squadron.

So what does it take to get chosen for these awards? Let’s start with Mitchell’s accomplishments. During his fourmonth tour as first sergeant in Afghanistan Mitchell provided leadership to more than 450 Airmen assigned to 29 Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) – visiting each location – and significantly improved morale and mission accomplishments in all the FOBs. He developed a security augmentee program, which mitigated the hazards faced by 48 Airmen tasked with base perimeter defense duty.

Now let’s look at Kienzle. He volunteered as a member of a 13- Airmen Security Force team deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While at Kirkuk Regional Air Base, Kienzle was assigned to the Quick Reaction Force (QRF), which won notoriety from both the Air Force and the Air National Guard due to its response to attacks often outside the installation perimeter, all the while safeguarding base personnel. This culminated with the QRF’s response to a 2,000 pound Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device attack. Kienzle’s decisive actions led to the evacuation of six wounded Soldiers and thwarted any further attacks.

So that is what it takes to win these awards. Take my word for it.

This is only a test
Photo and story Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, 177FW/PA

Staff Sgt. Robert Waters, an Emergency Management Airman, checks for chlorine gas during an anti-terrorism exercise held at the 177th Fighter Wing on Jan. 2-6.

The exercise - based on a terrorist suicide bomb attack - was an opportunity to ensure that Air Force Incident Management System, which employs a unified response between Wing, local, state and federal level responders would work smoothly.

The main event came when a delivery van attempted to run the main gate and despite Security Forces Airmen successfully stopping the vehicle, the terrorists detonated a bomb and released chlorine gas.

nti-terrorism exercise

Immediately emergency responders, Security Forces, Fire Department, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Readiness, Bio and Environmental Airmen responded to the crisis. In addition, the mutual support agreements with local, state and federal agencies were put into play.

After the various responses were observed, documented and evaluated, the exercise ended. The Exercise Evaluation Team evaluated the results so that events such as this can be avoided.

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Volume 33 Number 6 Staff / Information
(c) 2008 NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs