Celebrating our Airmen: 944FW Airman of the year nominees

The 944th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., is built on the foundation of our outstanding Airmen.

We are proud of the diligence and commitment these Elite Reserve Citizen Airmen display and are pleased to highlight those who have been nominated for the 2020 944 FW Annual Awards.

The categories of recognition for the annual awards program include rank-based categories: Airmen (E1-E4), Non-commission Officers (E5-E6), Senior Non-commissioned Officers (E7-E9), Company Grade Officers (O1-O3), Field Grade Officers (O4-O6), Junior Civilians (GS 8 and below), and Senior Civilians (GS 9 and above). In addition, we recognize outstanding performance for positional based accomplishments for First Sergeants, Instructor Pilots, and Instructor Weapons Systems Operators.

The members below are the nominees in the Airmen (E1-E4) category. We are proud of the many accomplishments of these members and look forward to celebrating them during our virtual awards ceremony on January 30, 2020.

Airmen of the Year nominees:

Senior Airman Christopher Merrill, 414th Maintenance Squadron tactical aircraft maintenance. (Air Force photograph)

Airman First Class Juan Batiz-Ocon, 944th Security Forces Squadron fire team member

In 2020 Airman First Class Batiz-Ocon supported joint special operations missions, safeguarded NATO assets in support of foreign partners and improved his unit’s local readiness training program. He led an Active Shooter Response course for nearly half of the 944th Medical Squadron personnel, providing lifesaving training for first responders and created a combatives training room for his squadron which enabled his unit to meet security forces training requirements. Throughout the year, Batiz-Ocon volunteered time with local homeless shelters and programs, fostering increased community resiliency. He is also pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science.

Senior Airman Mayra Carranza, 944th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aircraft avionics. (Air Force photograph)

Senior Airman Mayra Carranza, 944th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aircraft avionics

In 2020, Senior Airman Carranza led aircraft canopy seal training for Airmen in her unit providing critical knowledge for mission completion. In her continued leadership efforts Carranza provided 12 Airmen with aircraft inspection core task instruction, resulting in three skill level upgrades. Senior Airman Carranza was responsible for diagnosing a software error to reduce mission impact, was instrumental in correcting a helmet display issue, and discovered a major motor configuration inaccuracy that salvaged 86 bomb training missions. Carranza also dedicated time to complete 21 undergraduate course hours.

Senior Airman Chase Doyle, 944th Medical Squadron medical logistics. (Air Force photograph)

Senior Airman Chase Doyle, 944th Medical Squadron medical logistics

In 2020, Senior Airman Doyle supported deployment readiness for her unit, making it possible to respond to the short notice deployment of personnel for COVID-19 response in New York. She led training for 12 medical technicians to build emergency medical facilities and supported the Luke Air Force Base active duty medical units by helping manage medications and supplies. Senior Airman Doyle volunteered at a local hospital to aid in COVID-19 screenings and is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Management and an Associate’s degree in Nursing.

Senior Airman Christopher Merrill, 414th Maintenance Squadron tactical aircraft maintenance

In 2020, Senior Airman Merrill was instrumental in aiding the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base during COVID-19 related manning shortages. Merrill’s commitment to the mission ensure the F-15E training syllabus was complete, resulting in 22 air crew graduates. Senior Airman Merrill led Airmen in his unit through critical training, certifying the members on more than one thousand core tasks. Merrill’s dedication extends to community support where he volunteers to tutor local students and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity to build three homes for local families.

Staff Sergeant Kristy Riley, 924th Fighter Group training supervisor. (Air Force photograph)

Staff Sergeant Kristy Riley, 924th Fighter Group training supervisor

In 2020, newly promoted Staff Sgt. Riley aided in maintaining currencies despite COVID-19 travel restrictions through the development of virtual training programs. Her leadership extended to the direction of a flight upgrade training program for fellow Airmen, resulting in a 100 percent pass rate for her peers in mission critical training. Senior Airman Riley invested in her education by completing four undergraduate courses toward her nursing degree. Her training prepared her to respond quickly during an emergency resulting in saving the life of a local civilian.

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