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Minnesota National Guard
148th Fighter Wing announced awards

The Minnesota Air National Guard 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth announced the following awards

Master Sergeant Christian Beckstrom, an Aircraft Armament Specialist, was named the 2011 148th Fighter Wing Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (Sr NCO) of the Year for his accomplishments in 2010 During this period, Beckstrom continued to excel as an armament specialist, served as a mentor for junior airman, and volunteered his time by marching in two parades and participating in the 148th Adopt-a-Highway Program Beckstrom is a 20-year veteran and had deployed 13 times worldwide; three deployments were to Balad Air Base, Iraq Beckstrom graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in business management and works as a project officer for an electrical engineering company in Plymouth, Minn

Master Sgt Mark W Watczak, an assistant fire chief with the 148th Fire Department, was presented with the Chief Albert Fitzpatrick Award for his accomplishments during 2009 This award is given by the Air National Guard Fire Chief’s Association
During this period, Watczak, a 20-year veteran with the Minnesota Air National Guard, served as the 148th Fire Department fitness monitor, assistant chief of operation for the 2009 Air Combat Command Operational Readiness Inspection and served as a full-time firefighter for the city of Richfield, Minn He was recognized by the city of Richfield for his bravery in saving the life of a woman trapped in a burning vehicle He also serves as the city of Richfield’s key child safety seat technician and teaches numerous CPR/AED certification classes throughout the year In addition, he piloted a fitness awareness program called Walking Wednesdays at his daughter’s elementary school

Technical Sergeant Frank Bucar, a supply management specialist, was selected as the 148th Fighter Wing 2011 Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year for his accomplishments in 2010 During this period, Bucar processed nearly 11,000 receipts of incoming Air Force property, represented the 148th Fighter Wing at multiple parades and served on the Wing’s recognition committee In addition to his military accomplishments, Bucar performs with Change of Pace Productions and with the Singing Slovenes Bucar of Duluth works full time with the 148th Fighter Wing

Senior Airman Andrew Ames, an aerospace medical services journeyman, was named 2011 Airman of the Year for his accomplishments in 2010 During this period, Ames balanced college classes, work and volunteering, all while supporting his duties with the 148th Fighter Wing As a medical services journeyman, he administers immunizations, checks vital signs and assists military personnel preparing to deploy Ames served as a member of the Bulldog Enlisted Council, where he helped new members prepare for the intense physical and academic challenges of basic military training Ames of Duluth is a student at the University of Minnesota Duluth and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in exercise science He also works as a phlebotomist at Essentia Health St Mary’s Medical Center

Master Sergeant Jeremiah Graves was named First Sergeant of the Year for his accomplishments in 2010 During this period, Graves deployed to the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, as a civil engineer responsible for runway and ramp maintenance at a high volume military airfield Graves is responsible for the morale, welfare and conduct of all the enlisted members in his area and is the chief adviser to the squadron commander concerning the enlisted force Graves also completed the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy Course during this time Graves of Duluth works full time for the Duluth Police Department

Master Sergeant William Hawley was selected as the 2010 Air National Guard Security Forces Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year Hawley is a member of the 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron He was also selected as the 2010 148th Fighter Wing and Minnesota Air National Guard’s Senior NCO of the Year for accomplishments in 2009 Hawley is a police officer for the city of Ely In the past year, more than 80 hours were devoted as a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) instructor, along with many hours spent assisting his local VFW Post In addition, he has completed the Grandma’s Garry Bjorkland Half Marathon twice, and completed two triathlons this year

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Hawley

Master Sergeant Jeremy Hill was selected as the 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron First Sergeant Hill joined the 148th Fighter Wing in 1999 after serving with the Marine Corps As a member of the 148th, Hill has deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Noble Eagle He lives in Duluth and is employed as a full-time jet engine mechanic at the 148th Fighter Wing

Article source
http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/186531/group/scrapbook/



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