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Unit members win ANG Air Transportation NCO and SNCO of the Year awards

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jessica Hill
  • 179th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Recently two members of the 179 Airlift Wing were selected for Air National Guard Transportation awards. Master Sgt. David Shambaugh and Tech. Sgt. Corey Christopher won ANG Transportation Senior Non-commissioned Officer of the Year and ANG Transportation Non-commissioned Officer of the Year respectively.
According to the 179 AW Aerial Port Superintendent, Chief Master Sgt. Mark Dyer, the recognition is very well deserved. "They are amazing guys. They really do an amazing job," Dyer said of the winners. "This is huge for us [in Aerial Port]. We were once authorized more than 100 positions and now we are down to 32. They deserve [this award] for all the hard work they do."
Shambaugh and Christopher were selected for the award largely based on their work while deployed to Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, from January to May 2011. While deployed, Shambaugh was assigned as shift supervisor to the unit's aerial port operations. Christopher served as the night supervisor in the same area. Their primary mission was to move Marine cargo to forward deployed locations. They also sent cargo that was not being utilized back to the United States.
During the deployment, one of Shambaugh's shifts oversaw the downloading of an AN-225, which is the world's heaviest aircraft. The AN-225 bought 16 portable cellphone towers to improve communications in the area.
Additionally, Chirstopher led a team on the first joint Marine Air Force air drop from a C-17 using Cargo Delivery Systems. "I think it was good for Mansfield to be a part of this," Christopher said. Press from the event reached newsletters in the deployed area as well as various news and television outlets around the globe.
"I've never worked with Marines like that," Christopher noted. "We also worked with special forces members at night when most of their activity happened." He added that they also worked with British, Danish, Croatian and UAE troops.
While they were deployed to Camp Bastion, dignitaries such as Secretary of State Robert Gates and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Norton Schwartz and countless others came through the location. "It was a great mission for the 179th to be on," Shambaugh said of the exposure it brought to the unit.
Dyer was deployed to the transit center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan, in Base Services when Shambaugh, Christopher and the rest of their team came through on the way back from their deployment. "When they came through they had worked seven days a week throughout their entire deployment. They were on 120 days or more without a day off. Even with that, their spirits were still so high. They were great to be around."
When back at the 179 AW, their commitment continues. Shambaugh was recently asked to pull a day at the base to assist a local Army unit on their deployment to Afghanistan. Taking a day off from his civilian employer, Shambaugh led a group of 179 AW members in loading baggage for the deploying members. The Army members said the movement was the smoothest they had ever experienced.
In addition to the recent award recognition, Shambaugh and Christopher are also being selected for new positions within aerial port. Effective May 1, they will be promoted to senior master sergeant and master sergeant respectively, to correspond with their new positions.