Military News

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

RAF Lakenheath Airman wins prestigious community award

by Senior Airman Erin Trower
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


12/4/2015 - ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England  -- Local community members in St. Andrews Hall listened attentively for the announcement of the 2015 Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Award nominees and winners, Dec. 3. At this occasion, heroes of the community were nominated for their selfless actions, portrayal of bravery and service to others.

David Whiteley, BBC radio host and master of ceremonies for the evening opened by welcoming the heroes and other attendees.

"We are celebrating the wonderful people in this room," Whiteley said. "You're the people who are the backbone, who get up every day and do what you do best."

One of the 16 categories celebrated was the Armed Services Person of the Year award. One of the three nominees was an Airman from the 48th Fighter Wing.

On January 26, 2015, a Hellenic F-16 crashed during Tactical Leadership Program 15-1 at Albacete Air Base, Spain, killing nine French and two Greek service members, and injuring 21 others.  While most sought safety from the flames, six Airmen ran toward the wreckage to help others and provide first aid. Staff Sgt. Eli Gordon, 492nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit activity security manager, was one of those Airmen who demonstrated great courage and bravery. 

The crowd applauded as Gordon was named the Armed Services Person of the Year.

Gordon, who is currently deployed to an undisclosed location, was unable to attend the ceremony. However, his wife, Amanda Gordon, and Lt. Col. Joseph Deporter, 48th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander, accepted the award on his behalf.

"He would be really humbled and probably wouldn't think he deserved it," Amanda said.

Throughout the ceremony, Gordon was portrayed as exceptionally courageous.

"It's truly humbling," Deporter said. "I'm very proud of all the Airmen that serve at RAF Lakenheath and this is a great example of all the Airmen that we have serving."

The Liberty Wing continues to build partnerships and strengthen the relationship with our allies and local community members in the United Kingdom.

"We have so many wonderful Armed Forces stationed here in Norfolk, and we have a proud history in this region working with the U.S.," concluded Whiteley.

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