(Lincoln, Neb.) Governor Dave Heineman today congratulated two Nebraska Air National Guard units for earning prestigious U.S. Air Force unit awards and 11 individual National Guard Airmen and Soldiers for earning national honors during a ceremony held at the Nebraska National Guard's new Joint Force Headquarters on the Nebraska National Guard Air Base in Lincoln.
"The United States Air Force Organizational Excellence Award and the United States Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards are two very competitive awards. To be selected to receive them means that these two organizations and the Airmen who are assigned to them, have been acknowledged by the Air Force as among the best of the best," said Gov. Heineman.
The Governor and Nebraska Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Judd Lyons ceremonially pinned unit streamers onto the organizational colors of the Joint Force Headquarters Air Staff guidon and the 155th Air Refueling Wing unit colors.
The Nebraska National Guard's Joint Force Air Staff has been awarded its second U.S. Air Force Organizational Excellence Award while the 155th Air Refueling Wing has been awarded its 11th Outstanding Unit Award. Both Air Guard organizations are based in Lincoln.
"The Nebraska National Guard prides itself in being an organization that challenges its members to be the best we can be," said Nebraska Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Judd Lyons. "We take every opportunity to compete and represent Nebraska at the highest levels. It is an honor when the Departments of the Army and the Air Force validate what we've known for a long time, that our Nebraska Soldiers and Airman are among the best in the entire nation at what they do."
Additionally, Gov. Heineman recognized 11 individual Guardsmen for earning national honors. Those honored include:
· The Nebraska Air National Guard's 155th Medical Group Dental Clinic, which was recently named the best in the entire Air National Guard. Members of the clinic staff are Lt. Col. Raymond Shaddy, Lt. Col. Michael Burbach, Maj. Jennifer Hasslen, Staff Sgt. Patrick Lillis and Senior Airman Lori Watts.
· Tech. Sgt. Shaun Tebo of the 155th Medical Group was named the Air National Guard Outstanding Base Bioenvironmental Engineer Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.
· The Nebraska National Guard's Prairie Soldier Newspaper was named the top tabloid-sized newspaper of the year in the entire Army National Guard for the fourth straight year.
· Sgt. Heidi Krueger of the Nebraska Army National Guard 111th Public Affairs Detachment was named the Print Journalist of the Year for the entire Army National Guard. Krueger also won the Army National Guard's Photojournalism Competition.
· Staff Sgt. Koan Nissen of Joint Force Headquarters placed second in the Army National Guard Personality Feature Article Competition.
· Sgt. Jason Drager of the 111th Public Affairs Detachment placed third in the entire Army National Guard in the News Article Competition.
· Senior Airman Mary Thach of the Nebraska Air National Guard's 155th Air Refueling Wing placed second in the Air National Guard Sports Article Competition and third in the News Article Competition.
· And Maj. Kevin Hynes, Joint Force Headquarters, placed second in the Air National Guard Sports Photography Competition and third in the Feature Photography Competition.
"As the Governor of Nebraska and as commander-in-chief of the Nebraska National Guard, I am proud of the work that these men and women do on a daily basis. These awards are a testament to what we've already known for a long time - that Nebraska National Guard Airmen and Soldiers are among the best in this nation," said the Governor.
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