by Staff Sgt. Susan L. Davis
319th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
3/4/2015 - GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- One civil engineer here was recently recognized at the Air Force level for a prestigious award.
Kenneth Palm, 319th Civil Engineer Squadron heating, air conditioning
and ventilation (HVAC) technician, won the Air Force Outstanding Civil
Engineer Manager of the Year Award in the civilian category for his work
in 2014 when the unit responded to the base's energy needs following
the burst of a natural gas pipeline that services the installation. When
the outage happened, he and his team operated Air Mobility Command's
only synthetic natural gas plant in temperatures ranging to -35 degrees
and provided heat and energy to more than 800 base facilities.
Palm explained that the award took him completely by surprise.
"I didn't even know they had submitted this package for me," Palm said. "I never had a clue."
In spite of the prestigious nature of the award, Palm is still modest about his accomplishment.
"It's really a team thing," he said. "Everyone seems to think it's a big
deal, so it must be, but there are a lot of deserving people out there,
Palm's other accomplishments include enhancing quality of life for dorm
residents, temporary lodging facility guests and dining facility patrons
by repairing or installing air conditioning and chillers, saving the
wing thousands of dollars in contractor costs and resources.
Randy Puttbrese, 319th Civil Engineer Squadron infrastructure systems
section chief, spoke highly of Palm's work ethic and job performance.
"He is someone you can count on to get the most demanding job done on
time, done right, and done like you would want a contractor to do
something in your own home or business," he said. "Mr. Palm's
performance is top-notch. When he is given a job, he takes it on as if
it is something he is doing in his own house. In other words, he takes
pride in the ownership until the job is done."