(Rome, NY – Jan. 28, 2016) More than 150 New York Air National Guardsmen, Canadian Forces members and guests were in attendance at the Radisson Hotel in Utica Friday Jan. 23 as the Eastern Air Defense Sector recognized its outstanding performers from 2015.
The unit presented awards in six categories: company grade officer (junior officers below the rank of major), senior noncommissioned officer, noncommissioned officer, junior enlisted airman, honor guard member and civilian.
Award recipients were:
- Capt. Greg Elliott, Baldwinsville, Outstanding Company Grade Officer. Elliott oversaw the weapons and tactics section and was responsible for revising and updating the operations standards for 140 personnel. He also volunteered to augment more than 20 shifts for special missions, including the United Nations General Assembly and Pope Francis’s visit to the U.S.
- Master Sgt. Russell DelMedico, Sauquoit, Outstanding Senior Noncommissioned Officer. DelMedico developed and coordinated a new antennae inspection plan, resulting in the elimination of a three-year backlog. DelMedico mentored and trained fellow senior NCOs on award writing and served as a leader in the Top 3, the unit’s senior NCO organization.
- Tech. Sgt. Jesse Bucenec, Little Falls, Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer. Bucenec spearheaded the integration of advanced sensor data into EADS operations and played a key role in regional standardization efforts. Active in the community, Bucenec helped raise more than $3,500 for the American Cancer Society.
- Staff Sgt. Frank Alemar, Oneida, Outstanding Junior Enlisted Airman. Alemar solved frequent radio outages and an emergency communications vulnerability, saving the unit an estimated $180,000. A part-time college student with a 3.7 GPA, he also serves as the Junior Enlisted Council’s secretary.
- Mr. Sonepith Keoviengsamay, Rome, Outstanding Civilian. A cyber security systems analyst, Keoviengsamay led a collaborative Air Force-Air National Guard project that improved critical information access for EADS leadership. He also oversaw an e-mail migration project that affected more than 340 users and assisted in planning of more than 80 projects. Keoviengsamay received the National Guard Bureau’s Gen. John P. Jumper Award for excellence in warfighting integration last November.
- Staff Sgt. Marie Coar, Taberg, Outstanding Honor Guard Member. Coar dedicated hundreds of hours of personal time to planning, scheduling and training EADS Honor Guard. She personally participated in 50 details, planned an additional 91 events and oversaw the training of six honor guard personnel.
The Eastern Air Defense Sector is located at Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome. A headquarters element of the U.S. Continental North American Aerospace Defense Command Region (CONR), EADS is responsible for the air defense of the eastern United States. Staffed by active-duty New York Air National Guardsmen, a Canadian Forces detachment, joint service liaison officers and federal civilians, EADS directs a variety of assets to defend more than one million square miles of airspace east of the Mississippi River.