Florida Air National Guard’s finest honored as Outstanding Airmen of the Year

  • Published
  • By Maj. Miki Gilloon
  • FLNG Public Affairs
The Florida Air National Guard recognized six of its outstanding Airmen during an "Airmen of the Year" banquet at the Renaissance Resort in St. Augustine, Feb. 11.
The competition recognizes Florida's enlisted personnel for their superior leadership, job performance, community involvement and personal achievements.

"For our Airmen, this represents the hard work they do all year long in their primary jobs, how they continue to grow pursing their education and how they volunteer their time and energy to their units and to charitable organizations in their communities," said Chief Master Sgt. Charles Wisniewski, State Command Chief. "Being selected tells our Airmen that senior leadership recognizes their efforts and appreciates their dedication by highlighting their achievements as an example of what it takes to be considered the best of the best."
Of the approximately 2,000 enlisted Airmen in the Florida Air National Guard, the top Airmen are: Airman of the Year -- Senior Airman Christopher Hancock, 202nd RED HORSE Squadron, Camp Blanding, Fla.; Noncommissioned Officer of the Year -- Tech. Sgt. Penelope Pippin, 114th Range Operations Squadron, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.; Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year -- Senior Master Sgt. Angella Beckom, 125th Medical Group, 125th Fighter Wing, Jacksonville, Fla.; First Sergeant of the Year -- Master Sgt. Tiffiney Kellum, 101st Air and Space Operations Group, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.; Honor Guard Member of the Year -- Master Sgt. Karrie Warren, 101st Air and Space Operations Group, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.; Honor Guard Manager of the Year -- Tech. Sgt. Martha Dunning, 101st Air and Space Operations Group, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.
The finalists will move forward to compete nationally at the National Guard Bureau's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year.
Brig. Gen. Joseph Balskus, Assistant Adjutant General - Air, was the guest speaker at the banquet.
"Primarily most of this is about being the one who steps forward," Brig. Gen.
Balskus said. "Throughout our history how many times has one individual made a huge difference for what happens with the people he or she comes in contact with?" Classic cases of leadership and inspiration the general touched on during his speech included George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Amelia Earhart, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ronald Reagan.
"If you review the bios of our winners -- Hancock, Pippon, Beckom, Warren, Kellum, and Dunning -- you will be amazed at how individually they have accomplished and contributed so much and are making such a difference for our Florida Air National Guard and America," he said.
Accomplishments of the Outstanding Airmen:
Airman: Senior Airman Christopher Hancock Duty Title: Electrical Power Production Journeyman
Organization: 202nd RED HORSE Squadron, Camp Blanding, Fla.
Airman Christopher Hancock set a positive example by instituting new procedures and practices for his unit's Power Production Safety Program by tracking and monitoring safety checklists and developing material waste control plans. He also served as a team leader for three base air shows, ensuring the installation and testing of Mobile Aircraft Arresting Systems so that all aircraft were able to land safety in the event of an emergency.

Non-Commissioned Officer: Tech. Sgt. Penelope Pippin Duty Title: Client Systems Craftsman
Organization: 114th Range Operations Squadron, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.
Pippin is one of three personnel certified as a System Control Operator in the unit. She uploaded mission configuration files and "trouble-shot"
Transportable Command and Telemetry System equipment during multiple launch missions. She also completed 19 computer based training courses in two months which allowed her to seamlessly manage operating system upgrades at State Headquarters in St. Augustine, Fla., while ensuring that all systems complied with Air Force procedures.

Senior Non-Commissioned Officer: Senior Master Sgt. Angella Beckom Duty Title: Health Services Management Superintendent
Organization: 125th Medical Group, 125th Fighter Wing, Jacksonville, Fla.
Beckom revolutionized monthly Individual Medical Readiness Reports for unit commanders and first sergeants, improving the overall 125th Fighter Wing statistics and contributing to the highest ratings of six scored Force Health Management programs during a 2010 Health Services Inspection. With her extreme attention to detail, she screened and updated 130 medical records for the 202nd RED HORSE Squadron's Operational Readiness Inspection which resulted in an "Excellent" rating for the medical element.
First Sergeant: Master Sgt. Tiffiney Kellum Duty Title: First Sergeant
Organization: 101st Air and Space Operations Group, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.
Kellum is responsible for overseeing the health, morale and welfare of more than 230 enlisted personnel in the unit. She provided sound counsel to Airmen and served as a liaison between the unit and family members by providing guidance on enlisted and personal issues. Kellum was also key in developing a new Airman and Family Team program which focused on Airmen and family bonding.
Honor Guard Member: Master Sgt. Karrie Warren Duty Title: Combat Operations Division Assistant Superintendent
Organization: 101st Air and Space Operations Group, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.
Warren exemplified the Honor Guard motto of "To Honor with Dignity" by dedicating more than 20 hours performing in seven retirement ceremonies and
22 short-notice events throughout the state and in the local community.
Additionally, she organized 12 ceremonial events during the Program Manager's absence to ensure mission objectives were met. She is an expert in all team positions and fosters exceptional teamwork and initiative.
Honor Guard Manager: Tech. Sgt. Martha Dunning Duty Title: Senior Air Defense Technician
Organization: 101st Air and Space Operations Group, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.
Dunning led an elite 15-member Honor Guard team and devoted more than 100 hours to the planning and oversight of the team's training and performances in ceremonial events supporting the state of Florida, 1st Air Force, Tyndall
Air Force Base, 601st Air Operations Center and the local communities. Her
sound expertise, guidance and oversight of two ceremonial details during
national-level conferences were a testament to her leadership.