Military News

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

39th OSS declared 2014 best USAFE-AFRICA Flight Complex

by Airman Cory W. Bush
39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

3/13/2015 - INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- The 39th Operations Support Squadron was recently named the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa 2014 Airfield Operations Flight Complex of the Year.

The annual AOF Complex of the Year Award is presented to the best OSS squadron that displays exceptional performance in quality, safety, outstanding handling of an unusual traffic workload or emergency situations, exercises and sustained efficiency and procedural development of the airfield and air traffic control systems.

Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, may not be the biggest AOF complex, but the mission provides a unique workload, explained Lt. Col. Kyle Wilson, 39th OSS commander.

"We are not the busiest airfield in USAFE," Wilson said. "Although, when you factor in the ATC systems along with our Turkish air force counterparts controlling air traffic in and out of Adana Sakirpasa Airport as well as the Turkish aircraft coming and going from Incirlik AB, that makes us the busiest ATC complex in all of USAFE, with more than 57,000 NATO and host nation flight operations annually."

Their daily operations certainly pose a challenge as an AOF, but it's their efforts in exercises and completing NATO missions that set them apart, Wilson explained.

The 39th OSS led many airfield services operations that were mission essential in 2015.

"I couldn't be more proud to see our dedicated professionals recognized for setting the standard in a very challenging airfield environment," Wilson said. "Our sustained efficiency, handling of unusual traffic and attention to safety allows us to successfully complete the missions were handed."

The 39th OSS wasn't just recognized as an outstanding AOF in 2014. One individual, Senior Airman Christopher Defayette, was awarded the USAFE Airfield Management Journeyman of the Year Award for his outstanding accomplishments and exceptional job performance and is now competing at the AF level. Meanwhile, Defayette was pulled from his normal duty position to perform as the unit control center representative for the squadron during exercises.

"When the office needed someone to step up and fill the UCC position, Defayette didn't hesitate at all to raise his hand," said Senior Master Sgt. Melonie Sullivan, 39th OSS airfield manager. "His motivation and drive as an Airman was exceptional, the office lost a great member when he changed stations."

When one award-winning Airman steps out another one steps in.

Recently, Senior Airman Derek Miles joined the 39th OSS team from the 65th OSS at Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal. During his time at Lajes, Miles was presented the 2014 USAFE General John P. Jumper Award for Excellence in Warfighting Integration and the Annual Information Dominance Professional of the Year Award.

According to Wilson, there are many challenges and daily operations that could have contributed toward the squadron's successful 2014 year.

"Everything we accomplished wouldn't have been possible without the continuous effort of each Airman that keeps our mission going," Wilson said. "To all the men and women in the 39 OSS, thank you for your individual effort that helped us all work as a group to achieve success. It was all of your hard work, dedication and continuous support to the mission that defines best Airfield Operation Complex in USAFE."

Wilson mentioned his squadron plans to continue the hard work and success his squadron has displayed in 2014 into 2015.

"These awards are a true testament to the way we are organized," Wilson said. "This squadron does such a great job executing the mission that this airfield goes unnoticed to most of the wing. We have a 24/7 operation going on supporting NATO nations. There is never a moment when were not operational."

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