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Air Force fighter pilots of the year announced

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force announced the recipients of the 2016 Air Force Fighter Annual Awards in May 2017.

The award is designed to recognize fighter pilots and weapon systems officers’ commitment, performance, leadership and aviation skills that were instrumental to mission success of their units, the U.S. Air Force and the Defense Department.

The awards board comprised of qualified 11F and 12F officers and senior leaders reviewed major commands submissions for the top Air Force fighter pilots and WSOs and selected winners based solely on primary, flight-related duties.

“By recognizing our most talented fighter pilots and WSOs at the unit, MAJCOM ,and Air Force levels, the fighter awards demonstrate the value the Air Force holds in primary mission accomplishment," said Lt. Gen. Chris Nowland, the deputy chief of staff of operations. “To be recognized as the best means you are the most lethal aviator we have in our Air Force. Congratulations, that is awesome.”

2016 Air Force Fighter Award Winners:

- Fighter Instructor Pilot of the Year: Maj. John R. Widmer, 314th Fighter Squadron, Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico

- Fighter Instructor Combat Systems Officer of the Year: Capt. Kari M. Armstrong, 389th Fighter Squadron, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho

- Fighter Flight Lead of the Year: Capt. Victor V. Ditommaso, 421st Fighter Squadron, Hill AFB, Utah

- Fighter Wingman of the Year: Capt. Michael R. McLain, 480th Fighter Squadron Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany

- Fighter Combat Systems Officer of the Year: Capt. Justin S. Dickinson, 391st Fighter Squadron, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho

“The tremendous mission accomplishment represented by the endeavors of these officers is truly extraordinary,” said Maj. Gen. Scott Vander Hamm, the Air Force assistant deputy chief of staff of operations. “We look forward to their continued success and contributions to the United States Air Force.”

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