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104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base Recognizes Outstanding Members at 39th Annual Awards Ceremony

Release Number: 010413

Six members of the 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Air National Guard Base, Westfield Mass. receive Wing Awards. From left, Capt. Osme Benedict, Tech. Sgt. Jeremiah McClosky, Master Sgt. Yasser Menwer, Tech. Sgt. Michael Kearns, Staff Sgt. Charles Diaz, Master Sgt. Larry Brace and Col. James Keefe at the 39th annual awards banquet. The 104th Fighter Wing held their annual awards banquet at the Sheraton Hotel, Springfield Mass., April 6, 2013. (Air National Guard photo by TSgt. Melanie J. Casineau)

Six members of the 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Air National Guard Base, Westfield Mass. receive Wing Awards. From left, Capt. Osme Benedict, Tech. Sgt. Jeremiah McClosky, Master Sgt. Yasser Menwer, Tech. Sgt. Michael Kearns, Staff Sgt. Charles Diaz, Master Sgt. Larry Brace and Col. James Keefe at the 39th annual awards banquet. The 104th Fighter Wing held their annual awards banquet at the Sheraton Hotel, Springfield Mass., April 6, 2013. (Air National Guard photo by TSgt. Melanie J. Casineau)

Four members were presented their Community College of the Air Force degrees April 6, 2013. From left, Command Chief Master Sgt. Todd Fappiano, Staff Sgt. Miguel Gonzalez, Tech. Sgt. Christine Lupacchino, Tech. Sgt Sandra Pulliam, Tech. Sgt Heather Cekovsky, Tech. Sgt Nathaniel Donnachie and Col. James Keefe at the 39th annual awards banquet. The CCAF provides two-year educational programs to enlisted members of the active duty Air Force, Air National Guard, and Air Reserve Command. (Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Melanie J. Casineau)

Four members were presented their Community College of the Air Force degrees April 6, 2013. From left, Command Chief Master Sgt. Todd Fappiano, Staff Sgt. Miguel Gonzalez, Tech. Sgt. Christine Lupacchino, Tech. Sgt Sandra Pulliam, Tech. Sgt Heather Cekovsky, Tech. Sgt Nathaniel Donnachie and Col. James Keefe at the 39th annual awards banquet. The CCAF provides two-year educational programs to enlisted members of the active duty Air Force, Air National Guard, and Air Reserve Command. (Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Melanie J. Casineau)

Approximately 400 members and their families stand with hands over their hearts while the national anthem is sung and the honor guard stands at attention during the annual awards banquet. Members of the 104th Fighter Wing celebrated the accomplishments of their peers at the 39th annual awards banquet held at the Sheraton Hotel, Springfield, Mass., April 6, 2013. (Air National Guard photo by Maj. Mary Harrington)

Approximately 400 members and their families stand with hands over their hearts while the national anthem is sung and the honor guard stands at attention during the annual awards banquet. Members of the 104th Fighter Wing celebrated the accomplishments of their peers at the 39th annual awards banquet held at the Sheraton Hotel, Springfield, Mass., April 6, 2013. (Air National Guard photo by Maj. Mary Harrington)

Nearly 100 awards are displayed for approximately 400 members of the 104th Fighter Wing and their families that attended the annual awards banquet held at the Sheraton Hotel, Springfield, Mass., April 6, 2013. (Air National Guard Photo by Maj. Mary Harrington)

Nearly 100 awards are displayed for approximately 400 members of the 104th Fighter Wing and their families that attended the annual awards banquet held at the Sheraton Hotel, Springfield, Mass., April 6, 2013. (Air National Guard Photo by Maj. Mary Harrington)


The 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base will recognize about 100 members at the 39th Annual Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at 5 p.m., at the Sheraton Springfield, Massachusetts.

The annual awards recognize top enlisted, company grade and civilian personnel. Recipients are personnel assigned to Barnes Air National Guard Base who have made outstanding contributions to the unit and the Air National Guard, and who have displayed exceptional leadership both on and off duty. The 104th Fighter Wing will also recognize about 10 members graduating from the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF).

"This annual awards ceremony is an opportunity to recognize the very best of the best," said Col. James Keefe, Commander. "I am extremely proud of these individuals, who exemplify our tradition of excellence. We also want to thank the families, who enabled these members to succeed. Without family and community support, we would not succeed."

Individuals are recognized at flight, squadron, group and Fighter Wing levels. Awards include Airman of the Year, for grades E-4 and below; NCO of the Year, grades E-5 and E-6; Senior NCO of the Year, grades E-7 through E-9; AGR/Technician of the Year, full-time Air Guard Reserve and dual-status technicians; Company Grade Officer of the Year, grades O-1 through O-3; First Sergeant of the Year; Honor Guard Member of the Year and Civilian of the Year. Beyond the local level, awardees will also compete at state and national levels for National Guard and Air Force recognition.

The top Wing-level winners are:

Airman of the Year
Staff Sgt. Charles Diaz - Medical Group
Hometown: Westfield, MA

Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year
Tech. Sgt. Michael Kearns - Maintenance Group
Hometown: Westfield, MA

Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year
Master Sgt. Yasser Menwer - Operations Group
Hometown: Holyoke, MA

AGR /Technician of the Year
TSgt Jeremiah McClosky, Civil Engineering
Hometown: Southwick, MA

Company Grade Officer of the Year
Capt Osme Benedict - Operations Group
Hometown: Westfield, MA

Civilian of the Year
Mr. Jeffrey Dubois
Hometown: Tyngsboro, MA

First Sergeant of the Year
Master Sgt. Larry Brace - Maintenance
Hometown: Westfield, MA

104th Honor Guard NCO of the Year (State-wide)
TSgt Eric Breault
Hometown: Chicopee, MA