Revolutionizing Intelligence – Part Three: Getting recognized
By Senior Airman Kellyann Novak, photojournalist, 108th Public Affairs Office
/ Published June 12, 2016
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- The 204th Intelligence Squadron is at it again! With its members' remarkable technological advances in the intelligence community along with their dedication and hard work, they've set the bar very high and paved the way for other units to follow.
Col. Keith Andrews, Air Mobility Command's Director of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, announced the 2015 Air Force ISR Awards Program winners at the AMC-level.
"The competition was very tough again this year, with all nominations reflecting outstanding organizations and professionals. I would also like to thank all the supervisors and commanders for putting in the time and effort to recognize their people and units. These nominees will represent AMC for this prestigious award at the Air Force level," said Andrews.
"AMC as a whole has nearly 49,000 active duty and civilians, 42,000 Reservists and 35,000 Air National Guard members with over 150 field units stationed and deployed worldwide. Every year AMC has an annual award for the best and most outstanding Airman, Non-Commissioned Officer, Senior NCO, Company & Field Grade Officer, support personnel, instructor and unit for the Mobility Air Force Community. The recipients of these awards are then submitted for the entire United States Air Force Intel Surveillance & Reconnaissance Awards," explained Lt. Col. Robert M. Kelly, 204th commander.
Of the 18 categories that were recognized, the 204th brought home five awards!
Under the leadership of Kelly and Chief Master Sgt. Stephen Zinner, the 204th collectively received the Outstanding ISR Unit of the Year award.
Four members from the 204th were recognized individually for their accomplishments within the AMC intelligence community: 2nd Lt. Desiree A. DelaGarza won the Outstanding Air Reserve Component ISR Company Grade Officer of the Year award; Master Sgt. Toni M. Martinez won the Outstanding Air Reserve Component ISR Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year award; Staff Sgt. Joseph M. Walsh IV won the Outstanding Air Reserve Component ISR Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year award; and Senior Airman Jessica M. Villalba won the Outstanding Air Reserve Component ISR Airman of the Year award.
"To receive this award as a guardsman, shows me that the 204th is doing something great for AMC and that I signed up to be a part of one of the best teams in the guard," said Villalba. "I owe everything to my leadership in the 204th for allowing me to be a part of so many projects and products that not only impact the 204th internally, but any aircrew in the Air Force."
Once a quarter, the entire 204th squadron comes together to brainstorm new ideas. "It's a forum for people to come up with ideas with no fear of being judged and to discuss products, morale events and how we can better improve the 204th," said Kelly. Consequently, the 204th is constantly looking for ways to stay on the cutting edge of technology and how to improve the overall intelligence community. Because of this, the awards the 204th and its members have received this year proves they are on the right track and are leading the way for other units to follow.