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Seymour Johnson weather flight named AF best

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. (AFNS) -- The 4th Operations Support Squadron weather flight was recently selected as the 2013 Air Force Outstanding Weather Organization Below Squadron Level.

The weather flight was selected among more than 100 weather units throughout the Air Force for its mission effectiveness in supporting the Air Force's largest F-15E Strike Eagle fighter wing and for exemplary compliance with the Air Force Instructions

"This is a prestigious award and was well-deserved," said Capt. Michelle Werness, 4th OSS wing weather officer. "Our flight has really come to together as a team and excelled in bringing a necessary capability to the wing. I expected a lot from them, and they delivered."

The flight, consisting of 12 Airmen, is responsible for providing weather forecasts for all pilots and weapon systems officers assigned to the 4th Fighter Wing and 916th Air Refueling Wing. Over the course of the year, the flight provided more than 3,000 forecast briefings enabling more than 12,000 sorties.

"Our Airmen are extremely busy at times," said Master Sgt. Steve Balli, 4th OSS weather flight chief. "Over the past year, they've worked hard to support a busy fighter and refueling wing. When the weather was bad, they really stepped up to the challenge and showed great personal and team commitment to their mission. They are deserving of this award."

They also helped provide up to date weather alerts to more than 5,000 people on the installation and helped lead the 4th FW to Air Combat Command's first active-duty fighter wing "excellent" rating in 11 years, during a wing-wide inspection

"When the weather gets bad, our Airmen get busy," Werness said. "During the multiple snow events, tropical storms and other adverse weather conditions, I got to see my Airmen work tremendously well as a team. It makes me very proud to see the level of service they provide to this installation in support of its mission."

Master Sgt. Steven Perez, 4th OSS weather flight chief, also expressed his pride in selflessness of the flight's Airmen and their recent accomplishments.

"I'm really honored to be part of such a hard working flight," Perez said. "Weather is a complex science. It's nice to be recognized for the many things our Airmen contribute to the mission and the countless hours of work they put into perfecting their craft."

The award will be presented to the unit during a ceremony at a later date.

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