Oregon Air Guard members gather to celebrate annual award recipients

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. John Hughel
  • 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Members of the Oregon Air National Guard gathered to be acknowledged for their achievements during the past year at the 21st Annual Oregon Air National Guard Awards banquet held at the Embassy Suites Hotel, March 14, 2015.

Award winners from across the state of Oregon dinned during a formal banquet and represented the 173rd Fighter Wing and 270th Air Traffic Control Squadron based in Klamath Falls, the 116th Air Control Squadron from Warrenton, Joint Forces Headquarters staff from Salem and the 142nd Fighter Wing, the 125th Special Tactics Squadron and 123rd Weather Flight based at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland.

Ceremony attendees included The Adjutant General of Oregon, Maj. Gen. Daniel Hokanson and Air Component Commander Brig. Gen. Michael Stencel with his wife Sue, as well as senior enlisted leader, Oregon National Guard Command Sergeant Major Shane Lake and his wife Stacy along with the men of women of the Oregon Air National Guard.

During a brief introduction, Hokanson thanked those that worked long hours to organize the event, saying, "This is always a first-class event and I look forward to seeing all of the award recipients throughout the night."

Prior to dinner, the 142nd Fighter Wing Base Honor Guard conducted an all-service Hat Ceremony to honor those service men and women still Missing In Action and held as Prisoners of War, representing all five branches of the military to include: Army, Marine Corp, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard members still unaccounted for in service to the nation.

The top State award winners for Airman of the Year, 2014, went to Senior Airman Sean S. Saling, assigned to the 123rd Weather Flight as the top Category I, awardee, along with Tech. Sgt. John D. Barr, IV, from the 125th Special Tactics Squadron as the Category II top Airman, and Master Sgt. Jason W. Witts, assigned to the 173rd Logistical Readiness Squadron as the Category III overall Airman.

Other special recognition awards went to 142nd Fighter Wing members Lt. Col. Sean Sullivan, being selected Oregon Air National Guard Field Grade Officer of the Year, Capt. Jonathan Corrigan as the Company Grade Officer of the Year, Mr. Robin Boren as the Civilian Employee of the Year. From the 173rd Fighter Wing, Master Sgt. Jess Lindsay was selected as the Wingman Award winner, Staff Sgt. Danielle Siluano as the Honor Guard Member of the Year, and Staff Sgt. Christine Kerzel as the Unit Career Advisor of Year. Two members of the 125th STS also were acknowledged, as Senior Master Sgt. Brent Cavanias was selected as the First Sergeant of the Year and Master Sgt. Nicholas Raya, was recognized for being selected as the Chester E. McCarty Outstanding Superior Performer. The Recruiter of the Year was Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Olsen from the Joint Force Headquarters. 

Two organizations were also recognized during the banquet as the 142nd Fighter Wing Civil Engineering Squadron was selected as the Outstanding Unit of the Year, and the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office was selected as the Employer of the Year for the Oregon Air National Guard.

In closing remarks, as the evening ceremony concluded, Stencel reminded those in attendance that their hard work and dedication has not gone unnoticed. "It's been a long, long year from multiple deployments to our training and alert missions here at home, and yet there is more work to be done in the coming year. Thank you again for your constant dedication to our Nation and State."