377th Force Support Squadron earns “Best” in the Air Force

Military members render funeral honors to a deceased veteran.

The Kirtland Air Force Base Honor Guard fires a rifle volley at a military veteran’s funeral. The New Mexico base’s ceremonial unit typically performs at more than 500 events each year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Austin Prisbrey)

Hot air balloons light up the evening sky

Kirtland Air Force Base hosted a Balloon Glow Saturday, May 15, 2021 at Hardin Field. The event included a live band, food trucks, games and more for families to enjoy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Enrique Barcelo)

Airmen look at a program on a phone.

From right, U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Phillip E. Prather Jr., 377th Force Support Squadron force management section chief, shows Staff Sgt. Marquail D. Williford, 377th FSS force management supervisor, and Airman 1st Class Dieon J. Lugo, 377th FSS force management technician, the Air Force Leadership Enlisted Evaluation System on a cellphone at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, May 18, 2021. AF-LEES allows commanders and leadership the flexibility to review evaluations from any device, including cellphones and tablets. (U.S. Airman 1st Class Ireland Summers)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

The 377th Air Base Wing’s Force Support Squadron recently received the Curtis E. LeMay Award, earning the title of “Best Large Force Support Squadron,” in the Air Force.

The award is given annually to the best force support squadron at a base with 6,000 or more military and civilians assigned. This year’s competition consisted of 37 squadrons all competing for the title.

“During a tumultuous 2020, the 377th FSS led Team Kirtland through a global pandemic with an innovative mindset, proclivity for ingenuity, and genuine compassion providing morale, welfare,  recreation and family support programs, increasing the quality of life for Team Kirtland personnel and their families,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Luis Linares-Ayala 377th FSS, operations officer. “The 377th FSS generated $4.6M in sales, securing Air Force Global Strike Command’s #1 MWR fund, while simultaneously navigating through a myriad of COVID-19 restrictions, delivering world-class services in a safe and secure manner.”     

The last time the 377th FSS received the prestigious award was in 1984.

“Winning this award amidst unprecedented times lets our team know that there is no obstacle they cannot overcome through their Striker Culture mindset, resilience, and ability to push the envelope shattering the status quo,” said Linares-Ayala.

During this period, members from the Military Personnel Flight linked up with Mission Partners creating a state of the art mobile Forced Distribution Application that is now the standard at 53 bases. The system, Air Force Leadership Enlisted Evaluation System, or AF-LEES will standardize the evaluation distribution process across the whole Air Force, making it easier, faster and less work-saturated.

“The 377th FSS also paved the way by establishing an operation base within the installation in less than 24 hours,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Desmond Boyd, 377th FSS, superintendent. “We supported 289 Airmen, isolating them from COVID-19, and guaranteeing success of AFGSC’s no-fail mission, leading to the secretary of defense identifying Kirtland AFB as the “Gold Standard” for quarantine operations.”

The FSS leadership announced their win to the squadron during their recent change of command ceremony. They let their team know that this award was concrete evidence that their hard work and determination does not go unnoticed.

“Without regard to accolades, 377th FSS Airmen are passionate about the services they provide to the warfighter 24/7 without fail,” said Boyd.