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AFRC Announces its Airmen of the Year

  • Published
  • By Bo Joyner
  • Headquarters Air Force Reserve

Air Force Reserve Command usually announces its Airmen of the Year at a grand banquet in the spring with senior leaders and hundreds of supporters in attendance to honor the best AFRC enlisted Airmen in their respective rank-based categories.

This year was a little different.

With the COVID-19 pandemic limiting travel and mandating social distancing, this year’s banquet was cancelled, and the winners were notified of their victory in an innovative way. Using Zoom, a cloud-based video conferencing platform, Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, AFRC commander, Chief Master Sgt. Timothy White, AFR command chief master sergeant, and Chief Master Sgt. Travon Dennis, AFR command first sergeant, surprised the winners with face-to-face teleconferences on April 2.

“It’s a shame we couldn’t have our annual AOY banquet this year, but the boss and I still wanted to reach out to these outstanding Airmen and let them know personally how proud we are of them and how appreciative we are of the outstanding job they are doing,” White said. “We know they will represent us well as they compete at the Air Force level.”

AFRC’s Airmen of the year for 2019 are:

Airman of the Year: Staff Sgt. Krystin Springer-Ince, 514th Air Mobility Wing, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey

NCO of the Year: Tech. Sgt. Nicole A. Gansert, 514th AMW

Senior NCO of the Year: Master Sgt. Sandra M. Crenshaw, 94th Airlift Wing, Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia

First Sergeant of the Year: Senior Master Sgt. Rebekah J. Spedaliere, 514th AMW

The Carol Smits First Sergeant Council Award was presented to the 910th Airlift Wing, Youngstown-Warren Air Reserve Station, Ohio, for having the command’s top first sergeant council.

Members of the first sergeant council at the 910th AW during the award period include: Command Chief Master Sgt. Chris Williams, Master Sgt. Chris Mason (outgoing president), Senior Master Sgt. Michelle Mariacher (incoming president), Senior Master Sgt. Jessica Syverson, Senior Master Sgt. Jeanette Holland, Master Sgt. Drew Bader, Master Sgt. Brian Barrett, Master Sgt. Dan Barninger, Master Sgt.Tom Beasley, Master Sgt. Nancy Hornsby, Master Sgt. Chris O’Neill, Master Sgt. Robert Miller, Master Sgt. Brooke Callahan, Tech. Sgt. Kara Kauffman, Master Sgt. Marvin Hall, Master Sgt. Mark Gehri, Master Sgt. Robert Comstock and Master Sgt. Skye Tancer.

Springer-Ince, a nurse in her civilian capacity, is assigned to the 35th Aerial Port Squadron, where she serves as an aerial port load planner. In this capacity, she is responsible for accurately and efficiently sequencing and planning the movement of all military cargo onto aircraft for movement around the globe.

Gansert is an inflight refueling journeyman in the 78th Air Refueling Squadron. As an enlisted aircrew member on the KC-10 Extender, Gansert is the aerial refueling expert onboard tasked with ensuring the safe operation of the aircraft during air refueling. She has more than 500 hours in the KC-10 and has supported United States contingency Operations Inherent Resolve and Freedom Sentinel.

Crenshaw is the Decentralized Materiel Support Section chief for the 94th Logistics Readiness Squadron’s Materiel Management Flight. She builds and maintains a mission-ready enlisted force to execute home station and expeditionary mission requirements. She supervises 10 members and provides logistic expertise and keeps wing leaders abreast with logistic trend data for the C-130H Hercules aircraft.

Spedaliere is the first sergeant for the 35th Aerial Port Squadron. She advises the 35th Aerial Port commander and senior staff on the health, morale, discipline and welfare of the enlisted force and provides guidance on enlisted issues.

“These Airmen are the best of the best,” Scobee said. “In these difficult times, it’s comforting to know that Air Force Reserve Command has outstanding professionals like these ensuring that the mission will still be accomplished.”