Air Force Materiel Command honored its top Airmen of 2016 during the command’s Annual Excellence Awards Banquet March 8, 2017, and Tech. Sgt. Amanda R. Esparza of Edwards Air Force Base was named NCO of the year.
Esparza, Air Force Test Center, Edwards, distinguished herself as Non-Commissioned Officer in the group’s largest squadron in the position of Cost Center Manager. She readied 360 Security Forces enabling base defense Initial Operational Capability for F-15s. Additionally, Esparza restructured a 39-vehicle fleet, increasing patronage coverage of 308,000 acres.
Sixty-one Airmen from throughout AFMC’s headquarters, centers and wings were nominated to compete in nine separate categories — airman, non-commissioned officer, senior NCO, first sergeant, company grade officer, field grade officer, civilian category I, civilian category II and civilian category III.
Almost 300 family members, friends, community leaders and command officials gathered in the Modern Flight Gallery of the National Museum of the United States Air Force to honor the nominees.
Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski, AFMC commander, hosted the awards ceremony. After congratulating all the nominees and winners on a job well done, she commented on how fortunate she felt to be the commander of such Airmen.
“I am the luckiest commander in the Air Force,” said Pawlikowski. “No other place in the Air Force other than AFMC will you find Airmen who have such a direct effect on protecting our freedoms.”
Other winners are:
Airman Category – Senior Airman Nathan M. Koenig, Air Force Test Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Category — Master Sgt. Michael J. Stevens, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
First Sergeant Category – Master Sgt. William D. Schipper, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
Company Grade Officer Category – Capt. Tanner V. Smith, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.
Field Grade Officer Category – Lt. Col. Timothy M. Helfrich, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass.
Civilian Category I – Brett M. Castle, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass.
Civilian Category II – Brian Carr, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Battle Management.
Winners in the four enlisted categories will represent AFMC in the United States Air Force Twelve Outstanding Airmen of the Year and First Sergeant of the Year competitions held later this year.