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104th Fighter Wing recognizes 2020 annual award winners

104th Fighter Wing 2020 Annual Award winners pose for a photo in front of an F-15C Eagle at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts. The 104FW held an Annual Award ceremony which recognized the 104FW’s top performers in 2020. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Hanna Smith)

104th Fighter Wing 2020 Annual Award winners pose for a photo in front of an F-15C Eagle at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts. The 104FW held an Annual Award ceremony which recognized the 104FW’s top performers in 2020. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Hanna Smith)

104th Fighter Wing 2020 Annual Award winners pose for a photo in front of an F-15C Eagle at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts. The 104FW held an Annual Award ceremony which recognized the 104FW’s top performers in 2020. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Hanna Smith)

104th Fighter Wing 2020 Annual Award winners pose for a photo in front of an F-15C Eagle at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts. The 104FW held an Annual Award ceremony which recognized the 104FW’s top performers in 2020. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Hanna Smith)

Chief Master Sgt. Paul Barbee, 104th Fighter Wing Command Chief, reads the names of award winners during the Annual Awards ceremony at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts, Feb. 7, 2021. This ceremony recognized the 104FW’s top performers in 2020. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Hanna Smith)

Chief Master Sgt. Paul Barbee, 104th Fighter Wing Command Chief, reads the names of award winners during the Annual Awards ceremony at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts, Feb. 7, 2021. This ceremony recognized the 104FW’s top performers in 2020. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Hanna Smith)

Col. Tom ‘Sling’ Bladen, 104th Fighter Wing commander, addresses the audience at the Annual Awards ceremony at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts, Feb. 7, 2021. This ceremony recognized the 104FW’s top performers in 2020. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Hanna Smith)

Col. Tom ‘Sling’ Bladen, 104th Fighter Wing commander, addresses the audience at the Annual Awards ceremony at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts, Feb. 7, 2021. This ceremony recognized the 104FW’s top performers in 2020. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Hanna Smith)

Barnes Air National Guard Base, Mass. --

The 104th Fighter Wing recognized its annual award winners at an awards ceremony, held February 7, 2021, at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts.

The 2020 104 FW Annual award winners are: Senior Airman Sara Kolinski, Airman of the year; Tech. Sgt. Jaymie White, Non-Commissioned Officer of the year; Master Sgt. Chris Torres, Senior NCO of the year; Master Sgt. Michael Hoar, First Sgt. of the year; Capt. Colin MacEachern, Company-Grade Officer of the year; Major Christopher Ruscio, Field-Grade Officer of the year; and Mr. Patrick LaFond, civilian of the year.

These winners were chosen based on their accomplishments throughout the year which align with the Barnestormer Leader Attributes.

“As Barnestormers we have developed our own distinct yet aligned set of leader attributes which drive our daily behaviors,” said Chief Master Sgt. Brett Barbee, 104 FW command chief. “These attributes provide us an opportunity to continually assess ourselves, our teammates, and our leaders and identify areas of strength as well as areas for continued growth. We use these attributes to hold ourselves accountable and become better humans.”

In previous years, the nominees would submit award packages and winners would be chosen by leadership however, this year the nominees answered questions in front of a board of their peers. These boards were conducted in December 2020, and award winners were announced shortly after.

Typically, the 104 FW would celebrate the annual award winners at an off base banquet. However due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the banquet was replaced with a much smaller, socially distanced ceremony.

After winning the wing-level award, Kolinski, White, Torres, Hoar, MacEachern, Ruscio, and LaFond went on to compete at the state level against other nominees in the Massachusetts Air National Guard.. Kolinski, White, and Torres won the 2020 Massachusetts Air National Guard Annual Awards for their respective categories and are now competing against Airmen of the Air National Guard at the regional level.

“The people that we honored, the teams, the innovators, and the outstanding Airmen are the men and women that rose to the moment,” said Col. Tom ‘Sling’ Bladen, 104 FW commander. “They are examples that represent what we are all doing every day, and it’s such an honor to honor them.”