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2015 nuclear operations awards winners announced

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Air Force officials recently announced the winners of the 2015 Nuclear Deterrence Operations Award and the Nuclear and Missile Operations Award.

The awards recognize the outstanding accomplishments of the Airmen who have contributed to the nuclear deterrence operations and the officers who have made the most significant contribution to the nuclear and missile operations career field.

“The winners of the 2015 Nuclear Deterrence Operations Awards and the Nuclear and Missile Operations Awards have distinguished themselves amongst their peers while making a significant impact on nuclear deterrence operations,” said Lt. Gen. Jack Weinstein, the deputy chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration. “We are pleased to highlight their achievements. Congratulations to the winners as well as those who were nominated.”

The 2015 winners are:

Nuclear Deterrence Operations Award:

- Airman of the Year: Senior Airman Robert J. Gilsbach, 741st Maintenance Squadron, 341st Missile Wing, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana
- NCO of the Year: Tech. Sgt. Christopher M. Coleman, 532nd Training Squadron, 381st Training Group, Vandenberg AFB, California
- Senior NCO of the Year: Senior Master Sgt. Michael J. Naquin, Air Force Global Strike Command, Barksdale AFB, Louisiana
- Company Grade Officer of the Year: Capt. Michael B. Hampton, 31st Munitions Squadron, 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano AB, Italy
- Field Grade Officer of the Year: Maj. Robert M. Kochan, 31st MUNS
- Category I Civilian of the Year: JoNell M. Lutes, 91st Operations Support Squadron, 91st Missile Wing, Minot AFB, North Dakota
- Category II Civilian of the Year: Stephen D. Christensen, Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, Minot AFB
- Category III Civilian of the Year: William A. Hodgson, Air Force Inspection Agency, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico
- Professional Team: United States Strategic Command ICBM Dynamic Targeting Team (Lt. Cols. David A. McMillan and Kary R. Schramm; Majs. Matthew T. Farrer, Daniel W. Shimonsky, Jeremy L. Haas, Benjamin D. Zatorski, Charles M. Whitworth, Eric S. Buss, Matthew D. Hargis; Capts. Lucas P. Lobo, Richard H. Morrison, Matthew E. Youmans, Adam N. Sheyko, Kenneth M. Jenkins II, Frank A. Timothy, Melissa D. Urbansky; Master Sgt. Jason G. Catchings; and Clay W. Dickinson, Doug T. Jackson, Frank W. Gorhau, Jr., Joshua K. Hoenshell, John N. Pruett, Jayson S. Lucas, and Gregory S. Taylor)

Nuclear and Missile Operations Award:

- Operator of the Year: Capt. Ian M. Sylvester, 10th Missile Squadron, 341st Missile Wing, Malmstrom AFB
- Company Grade Officer of the Year: Capt. Carli E. Frasier, 90th Operations Group, 90th MW, F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming
- Field Grade Officer of the Year: Lt. Col. Terrance J. Holmes, Headquarter Air Force Strategic Plans and Requirements, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

These nuclear professionals were selected from a diverse field within the Air Force’s major commands, unified combatant commands, and other agencies including the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard.

The Nuclear Operations Awards program is administered and overseen by deputy chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration, Headquarters Air Force in accordance with Air Force Instruction 36-2870, “Nuclear Operations Awards Program.”