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Global Strike Command announces annual award winners

  • Published
  • By Crystal Jordan
  • Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs
Air Force Global Strike Command honored the command's annual award winners during a banquet here March 10.

Maj. Gen. (ret) Timothy McMahon, who retired in 2003 as commander of Twentieth Air Force at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., spoke to attendees about the culture of excellence in Air Force Global Strike Command.

Global Strike Airmen "strengthen the readiness of our strategic forces, while rebuilding the culture of compliance this mission critically depends upon," General McMahon said.

"Tonight, we have the privilege of recognizing Airmen and civilians who have stood up to heavy responsibilities and have exceeded high expectations," General McMahon said. "They have done so in a staff that is already building a great reputation for high performance across the Air Force and the broader nuclear enterprise."

The Honorees

Tech. Sgt. Christopher Keck, a contracted maintenance evaluator who supervises, services, and maintains missiles assigned to the 576th Flight Training Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., is Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. Sergeant Keck teamed with 30 Civil Engineering personnel to assess missile launch tube liners, certifying a $6 million launch facility for intercontinental ballistic missile test operations. Sergeant Keck also pursued credits toward his bachelor's degree in sports and health science, maintaining a 3.9 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, and donated more than 250 hours to coaching youth sport programs.

Master Sgt. Shane Grosso, a command post inspector assigned to the Air Force Global Strike Command Inspector General at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., is Outstanding Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. Sergeant Grosso, a first-time superintendent, led a team of 14 Airmen at his command post to win 2010 Air Force Command Post of the Year, in addition to eight wing and major command level awards. The team excelled as a whole in all operational aspects, base involvement and personal growth. Sergeant Grosso also served as Air Force Global Strike Command's first-ever Top Three treasurer and co-authored bylaws for the organization.

Master Sgt. Lucius Turner, a first sergeant assigned to the 576th Flight Test Squadron at Vandenberg, is Outstanding First Sergeant of the Year. Sergeant Turner averted crisis within the unit by guiding a member through suicidal ideation, saving a life and returning the Airman to duty. Sergeant Turner also served as a regular speaker for First Term Airmen classes and non-commissioned officer seminars, and volunteered with the Angel Tree Toy Drive by collecting and delivering gifts to families during the holidays.

Capt. Michael Askegren, the deputy of operations at Air Force Global Strike Command Logistics, Installation and Mission Support directorate at Barksdale, is Outstanding Company Grade Officer of the Year. Captain Askegren led more than 150 Airmen in Civil Engineering's largest construction effort in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The effort, totaling 27 projects at a cost of $9.3 million, was crucial to a 30,000 troop surge in theater. Captain Askegren mastered international plumbing codes, enabling an in-house design of $612,000 medical clinic, saving the Air Force more than $25,000.

Maj. Patrick Baum, an intercontinental ballistic missile program element monitor responsible for building future ICBM program concepts is Outstanding Field Grade Officer of the Year. As a member of Air Force Global Strike Command's Plans and Requirements division, Major Baum managed a more than $1 billion annual budget for Minuteman III appropriations critical to nuclear deterrence and global strike programs. Major Baum also volunteered as a local Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader.

Ms. Michelle Adkins, an executive assistant assigned to Air Force Global Strike Command's Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance directorate at Barksdale, is Category I Outstanding Civilian of the Year. Ms. Adkins tracked $686,000 in directorate funding in addition to $1.6 million in contract funding, helping to ensure more than 60 tasks were completed.

Ms. Susan Thomas, an investigations and inquiries specialist assigned to the Air Force Global Strike Command Inspector General at Barksdale, is Category II Outstanding Civilian of the Year. Ms. Thomas led the development of Freedom of Information Act processes for the command through report analysis and redacting of personal information, protecting witness identity and the integrity of the Inspector General. Ms. Thomas also dedicated more than 100 hours to underprivileged families and served with Volunteers of America.

Mr. John Meehan, a mechanical engineer assigned to Air Force Global Strike Command Logistics, Installation and Mission Support at Barksdale, is Category III Outstanding Civilian of the Year. Mr. Meehan aided in the beddown of more than 750 personnel, which was key to the command meeting full operational capability on Sept. 30, 2010. Mr. Meehan also monitored construction activities, ensuring final beddown of the command remained on-track. Mr. Meehan also raised funds for and donated time to children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, musculoskeletal disorders and cancer.

Military winners will compete to be named in Air Force Global Strike Command's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year on March 24.

For more information about Air Force Global Strike Command, visit us on Facebook at or on Twitter @afglobalstrike.