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Maintenance professionals honored for 2006

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- A vocal crowd of Airmen from across the maintenance group and other units across the base honored the 2006 Maintenance Professionals of the Year at a banquet April 27 in Hangar 3 here.

More than 400 Airmen chanting squadron slogans at the tops of their lungs seen the "best of the best" recognized for the work accomplished day in and day out keeping the oldest F-16 Vipers in the Air Force inventory flying.

Guest speaker for the night Col. Jon "Viper" Norman, 8th Operations Group commander summed up the event stating "the Chief of Staff of the Air Force (Gen. T. Michael Moseley) says its best -- the mission of the Air Force is fly, fight and win. But to me we can't do it without the maintainers, there is no way the Air Force can do it without you."

"Maintainers are warriors as anyone else is," Col. Norman said. "You work in the harshest conditions, you are stationed at remote locations more than once in a career and you work when Airmen have a down day across the wing. You never go home until the job is done."

Colonel Norman ending by thanking them for their dedication, commitment and their "never see a problem but a solution," attitude.

The winners announced during the event were:

Maintenance Support Systems Performer of the Year:
Senior Airmen Leeann Mullins, 80th Aircraft Maintenance Unit
Tech. Sgt. Charles Eckert, 8th Maintenance Operations Squadron
Senior Master Sgt. Larichard Brown, 8th Maintenance Operations Squadron 

Maintenance Performer of the Year:
Senior Airmen Aubrey Barnett, 80th Aircraft Maintenance Unit
Staff Sgt. Bradley Hale, 8th Maintenance Squadron
Master Sgt. Ron Springer, 8th Maintenance Squadron

Maintenance Professional of the Year:
Senior Airmen Scott Bemiller, 35th Aircraft Maintenance Unit
Tech. Sgt. Michael Vandergrift, 35th Aircraft Maintenance Unit
Senior Master Sgt. Robert Webster, 35th Aircraft Maintenance Unit
Capt. Christopher Joyce, 35th Aircraft Maintenance Unit

The following Airmen were awarded the Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez awards for their achievements as well. 

8th Maintenance Squadron
Airmen 1st Class Jennifer Grauf
Senior Airmen Brandon Gremillion
Staff Sgt. Michael Hoover
Staff Sgt. Steven Edmonds
Senior Master Sgt. Ralph Parson, Jr.,
Capt. Nathaniel Timberlake.

80th Aircraft Maintenance Unit
Senior Master Sgt. Robert Renz.

35th Aircraft Maintenance Unit
Capt. Christopher Joyce.

8th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
Maj. Robert Clement.

The dedicated crew chief of the year was Staff Sergeant Kenneth Brooks and the outstanding weapons load crew from the 80th Aircraft Maintenance Unit was Staff Sergeant Jason Sinkar and Senior Airmen Alfred Agee and Christine Chavarria.
Mr. Chun Song Kim was the only civilian recognized during the event as he was named the outstanding munitions missile maintenance civilian technician of the year. He is assigned to the 8th Maintenance Squadron.



SIDEBAR: Award recipients accomplishments

The following Airmen were highlighted as the "best of the best" for the 8th Maintenance Group during the 2006 Maintenance Professional of the Year banquet held March 27 in Hangar 3 here.

The following Airmen are still assigned to the Wolf Pack and below are some of their accomplishments over the past year.

Senior Airmen Leeann Mullins, 80th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, has corrected more than 532 discrepancies in the time change program management with an error rate below 1 percent. He assisted unit Airmen in correction of more than 455 errors an aircraft system that was fixed in house saving 86 man-hours. He also worked endless details and extensive coordination to cement first Kunsan Falcon Star depot modification input.

Senior Airmen Scott Bemiller, 35th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, managed aircraft 89-2055 to a 94 percent mission capable rate for October through December. The mission capable rate broke the Pacific Air Force's 82 percent standard. Airmen Bemiller was named the squadron crew chief of the quarter for the last quarter of the year.

Staff Sgt. Bradley Hale, 8th Maintenance Squadron, had a 100 percent pass rate on 13 quality assurance evaluations. He repaired four guns systems during the November 06 operational readiness exercise which allowed 36 aircraft generations. His accomplishment during the month earned him flight non commissioned officer of the month.

Tech. Sgt. Michael Vandergrift, 35th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, led 27 Airmen in the unit and piloted the sections turn around earning the section four strengths during maintenance inspections. He created munitions accounting tracking sheet with 100 percent reconciliation which received the command's best practice by the safety functional manager.

Master Sgt. Ron Springer, 8th Maintenance Squadron, lead 35 Airmen in three elements that are responsible for $10 million in facilities and equipment. He leadership led to zero write-ups on 31 programs during December PACAF inspection. His focused efforts on the paint facility modernization eliminated a Risk Assessment Code.

Senior Master Sgt. Robert Webster, 35th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, was responsible for record breaking run that reversed 3-year trend for the unit. His unit exceeded the command's 82 percent mission capable standard in August to December. During that time 4,363 sorties and 5,738 hours were flown with an average 91.3 percent mission capable. A 5-year high for the unit.

The following individuals are still stationed here but there is no further information on their accomplishments Maj. Robert Clement, 8th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Captains Christopher Joyce, 35th Aircraft Maintenance Unit and Nathaniel Timberlake, 8th Maintenance Squadron, Senior Master Sgt. Ralph Parson, Jr., 8th Maintenance Squadron, Staff Sgt. Michael Hoover, 8th Maintenance Squadron and Mr. Chun Song Kim.