Each year the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, along with the major command-level command chief master sergeants, selects a specific Air Force career field to be recognized as the “Team of the Year.” They then select individual members within that career field who are professionals who clearly display superior technical expertise, attract the praise of their superiors and provide leadership and inspiration to others.
AFA will pay tribute to these Airmen and their important contribution to the Air Force at the Team of the Year Awards Ceremony and Reception later this month. The awards ceremony will be part of an exclusive four-day program that also includes visits with Air Force Leaders at the Pentagon, a visit with individual team member’s congressman on Capitol Hill and other special events throughout the nation’s capital.
“The work that this particular group carries out is essential to the success of the operations that our US Air Force performs,” said Sandy Schlitt, AFA Chairman of the Board. “They operate systems essential to fulfill Air Force missions, they teach and train students with a high level of competency and they represent exceptional professionalism, expertise and leadership. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to honor them.”Congratulations to the following individuals, who will represent the Sensor Operators for the 2012 Team of the Year Award:
“The technical expertise of the men and women chosen to represent Airborne Operations surpasses all in their field,” said Mike Dunn, President of AFA. “They have been engaged and irreplaceable to operations from Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom to Odyssey Dawn and New Dawn. We commend them for their great work ethics and unyielding commitment.”
Senior Airman David M. Pederson is an Instructor Sensor Operator at the 489th Reconnaissance Squadron, Beale Air Force Base, California. He serves as a formal unit training instructor for the MC-12W Liberty aircraft. As an instructor sensor operator he is responsible for Mission Qualification Training of 120 pipeline and flow through students per year to operate the electro-optical and infrared sensors, radios, computers and data link equipment to find, fix and finish enemy forces in support of ground combat forces. He entered the Air Force in 2007, and prior to his current duties he served on the E-3 AWACS as an Air Surveillance Technician. He deployed in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and NEW DAWN. Among his many decorations are the Air Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal, and the Iraq Campaign Medal.
Senior Airman Kathleen I. Eliseo serves as a Sensor Operator for the 4th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida. Her duties include operating the infrared detection system and associated sensor equipment on the AC-130U Gunship to acquire, identify, and eliminate hostile enemy forces. Additionally, she is responsible for relaying battle damage assessments to Joint Terminal Attack Controllers to ensure the proper level of target destruction. Airman Eliseo joined the Air Force in 2009, and has deployed twice in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM, executing 84 combat missions totaling 351 combat hours. She has earned three Air Medals, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and the NATO Medal.
Senior Airman Jared S. Kordos entered the Air Force in 2009, and serves as an AWACS E-3 Airborne Surveillance Technician at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City. His responsibilities include constructing and maintaining the E-3 air battle picture by detecting, tracking, identifying, and reporting air and surface tracks of interests. In the spring of 2011, Airman Kordos deployed in support of Operations ODYSSEY DAWN and UNIFIED PROTECTOR, spending 550 airborne combat hours enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya. His technical expertise was directly responsible for his crew garnering the 552nd Air Control Wing's Airborne Battle Management Crew of the Year for 2011. His military awards include the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, and NATO Medal.
Technical Sergeant Scott C. May is an Evaluator Airborne Operations Technician for the 129th Combat Training Squadron, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. Sergeant May enlisted in 2004 and his background includes combat-ready aircrew duty onboard the Joint Surveillance Targeting and Attack Radar System (JSTARS), aircrew instructor duty, and a role as Instructor Airborne Operations Technician, responsible for ‘cementing the foundation’ of JSTARS’ newest Airborne Operations Technicians. He has deployed eight times, completing 120 combat missions, clocking over 1300 combat hours in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, NEW DAWN and ENDURING FREEDOM, and 2,500 total flying hours on JSTARS. His military decorations include the Air Medal, Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, and the Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal.
Master Sergeant Michael Sailer serves as an AC-130H Instructor Sensor Operator and Senior Enlisted Manager for the 551st Special Operations Squadron, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. He is the senior enlisted advisor to the commander on issues affecting 263 personnel directly supporting the training of combat aircrews for the AC-130H, MC-130W, MQ-1, MQ-9, and Non-Standard Aviation Platforms. He entered the Air Force in 1989, and his background includes various duties in several supply squadrons, on board the E-3B/C as an Airborne Surveillance Technician and Sensor Surveillance Technician, and on the AC-130H as an Instructor Sensor Operator. Sergeant Sailer deployed in support of Operations DESERT STORM, NORTHERN WATCH, SOUTHERN WATCH, ALLIED FORCE, and ENDURING FREEDOM. Among his many decorations are the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal and the Air Force Combat Action Medal.