Spangdahlem maintainer wins award

by Staff Sgt. Tammie Moore
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office

The Air Force has determined that one Saber maintainer stands above his peers. The Air Force has named a 52nd Equipment Maintenance Squadron senior master sergeant as the 2008 Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.

“I am very proud, honored and humbled to have the chance to represent the Air Force as the Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez Award winner,” Senior Master Sgt. Charles Miller, 52nd EMS flight chief, said. “This is a very prestigious award to receive. When I sit down and think about it, it really grounds me.”

The award, created in honor of retired General Marquez, recognizes outstanding maintainers who have demonstrated the highest degree of sustained job performance,  efficiency and results, job knowledge and direct sortie generation involvement.

“This award is the trademark of numerous hours of hard work successfully completed by the men, woman and civilian contractors at the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, 9th Air Force and the 52nd Fighter Wing,” Sergeant Miller said. “In my mind, the combined accomplishments of these people in four geographically separated locations is the reason I won this award.”

Sergeant Miller filled many rolls during 2008. He was the 52nd EMS flight chief, the 332nd Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant maintenance superintendent and the 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant maintenance superintendent. In these roles he was able to assist his units with a number of accomplishments ranging from saving the Air Force more than $8 million with an F-16 sustainment plan to supporting the largest air strike since 2003 in Operation Phantom Phoenix. The work he said he is the most proud of was his role in increasing the number of MQ-1 Predators at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.

“The reason I am so proud of that is because it means increased surveillance for Army troops on the ground,” he said. “I knew what I was doing had a direct impact on the ground forces – it made them safer. To me, that probably had the biggest impact because all of Iraq is covered by the Predator.”

Maj. Kelley Stevens, 52nd EMS commander, has worked closely with Sergeant Miller at homestation and while the two were deployed to Balad.

“Sergeant Miller is an outstanding (senior noncommissioned officer), maintainer and professional Airman,” she said. “He is always looking for ways to make his organization better. There is no job Sergeant Miller will not tackle and turn into a success.”

Major Stevens said the confidence she has in Sergeant Miller’s abilities makes her job easier.

“EMS is very fortunate to have Sergeant Miller in our squadron,” she said. “The welfare of his Airmen is very important to him and he sacrifices his personal interest for the greater good of his flight and squadron.”

The work other people have attributed toward this accomplishment is something Sergeant Miller is incredibly grateful for.

“The things you see in my award package, all of it comes from me working with those people,” Sergeant Miller said. “They made it happen. This is the combined accomplishments of all of these people. They are, without a doubt, why I won this award.”

Sergeant Miller will travel to Washington D. C., in May to be presented this award.