Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Kadena NCO named FAPAC meritorious award winner

by Airman 1st Class Keith A. James
18th Wing Public Affairs

3/13/2013 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- An 18th Civil Engineer Squadron NCO was recently recognized by Pacific Air Forces for his superb efforts in serving the community.

Tech. Sgt. Erick Lizarraga, 18th CES structural craftsman, received the 2012 Federal Asian-Pacific American Council Military Meritorious Service Award.

The FAPAC award honors military members who have fostered an innovative and harmonic environment between the military, Asian-Pacific American civilian community and the Department of Defense mission , or whose attributes best epitomized the qualities and core values of their respective military service or DOD component.

"He's a very motivated noncommissioned officer; a natural born leader and an over achiever," said Master Sgt. Billy Cox, 18th CES vertical shop NCO in charge.

Lizarraga said he was honored to win the award and it spoke volumes to not only be nominated but to win. It allowed him the opportunity to represent his senior brothers and sisters and show what they're all about, he said.

In 2012, Lizarraga managed more than 45 military and local national employees in the construction and maintenance of 4,800 facilities worth $7.9 billion. He and his team completed more than 450 base civil engineer work requests totaling $521,000, which supported the wing's $225 million support and flying mission.

Ensuring Airmen and their families were safe, he and his team also assessed the damage and safety of base real estate and identified approximately 197 facilities needing repair after the typhoon Jelawat devastation.

Serving as a scoutmaster for the Boy and Girls Club of America, Lizzarraga trained 18 scouts and coordinated several community events where under his mentorship and guidance, his youth earned 16 field badges.

"I gained a whole new view on responsibility," Lizarraga said. "People in the community were relying on me and not being there wasn't an option. To see the look on those kid's faces who were looking up to me and the value that was instilled in them -- it was well worth it."

Cox said since Lizarraga arrived at the shop, he has improved processes and made things run a lot smoother. He is well on his way to a becoming a chief master sergeant in the Air Force, he said.