Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hogfest ups the ante, deals a winning hand

by Senior Airman Danielle Wolf
442nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

12/21/2009 - WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Several maintenance group Airmen won awards Dec. 5 at Hogfest, the annual award ceremony hosted at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo.

With only 17 award categories, and more than 500 maintainers, competition was stiff. Each squadron and flight nominated Airmen for quarterly awards throughout the year. Those quarterly winners then comprised the competition for the yearly Hogfest awards.

The purpose of the event is to recognize top performers and promote moral throughout the group, said Senior Master Sgt. Russell Hogan, superintendent of the Maintenance Operations Flight and Hogfest co-chair.

"It's also a time when we can socialize and get to know each other," he said.

Getting to know one another came quickly for maintainers in the 442nd that night, when they had the opportunity to share a meal, celebrate each other's awards, watch slideshows of photos from throughout the year and dance after the awards ceremony.

Four new categories were added to this year's list of awards.

"The maintenance group has grown due to the number of planes and we wanted to reflect that," Sergeant Hogan said. "For example, we thought specialist flight should get its own category because it grew by quite a few people."

Other new awards categories included Maintenance Backshop Enlisted Member of the Year and Outstanding Traditional Reservist of the Year.

"Sometimes a (traditional reservist) does not have the exposure an air reserve technician or someone who is frequently on mandays does," Sergeant Hogan said, "so we wanted to recognize those people too."

The Hogfest committee and the maintenance group leadership look at nominees in several different categories and select winners based on the display of core values, willingness of Airmen to take on additional responsibilities, allowance of mentoring, and application of what he has learned, said Sergeant Hogan.

Maintainers weren't the only ones who were honored that night. A ceremony to honor prisoners of war kicked off the event with specialist flight maintainers lighting the candle and preparing the table to honor POWs.

"It gives the whole ceremony a sense of honor and tradition," said Senior Airman Samantha Lane, A-10 crew chief. "It's our duty to honor them and show respect."

The Hogfest committee worked hard to accomplish these things, according to Sergeant Hogan.

About twenty volunteers worked throughout the year to fundraise for, plan and produce the function. Sergeant Hogan said planning for Hogfest in 2010 already began several months ago.

"(Committee members) put a lot of effort forward within their own areas of responsibility and went above and beyond," he said.

Winners not listed in photos, were as follows:

Maintenance Squadron Junior Enlisted Member of the Year, Staff Sgt. Joseph Barnard; Maintenance Squadron Senior Enlisted Member of the Year, Tech. Sgt. Tom Hager; Maintenance Squadron Backshop Enlisted Member of the Year, Tech. Sgt. Toby McCord; Maintenance Group Maintenance Operations Flight Junior Enlisted Member of the Year, Senior Airman Matthew Bounds; Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Junior Enlisted Member of the Year, Senior Airman Samantha Lane; Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Senior Enlisted Member of the Year, Master Sgt. Daniel Abrams
Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Assistant Crew Chief of the Year, Senior Airman Russell Roberts; Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Crew Chief of the Year, Tech. Sgt. James Gum; Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Specialist of the Year, Master Sgt. John Mallas
Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Load Crew of the Year, Tech. Sgt. Ricky Schweim, Senior Airman Tracy Brown, Staff Sgt. Richard Fennewald

2009 Hogfest committee members were as follows:

Chief Master Sgt. Mitch Mozingo, Senior Master Sgt. Regina Brewer, Senior Master Sgt. Kenneth Gibson, Senior Master Sgt. Russell Hogan, Senior Master Sgt. Dennis Lyon, Senior Master Sgt. Aaron McRoberts, Master Sgt. Tony Axton, Master Sgt. Tyler, Bane, Master Sgt. Steven Cohick, Master Sgt. Veronica Gibson, Master Sgt. Patrick Rogers, Tech. Sgt. Michael Cook, Tech. Sgt. Paul Hanson, Tech. Sgt. Shaun McCrea, Tech. Sgt. Michael Price, Tech. Sgt. Ken Portell, Staff Sgt. Don Demarco, Staff Sgt. Brian Ryberg, Senior Airman Kiley Devericks

Col. Mark Clemons, 442nd Fighter Wing commander, presents Master Sgt. Tony Axton of the 442nd Maintenance Squadron with the 2009 Outstanding Achievement Award December 5, 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Danielle Wolf) Hi-res


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