131st Bomb Wing announces 2024 Outstanding Airmen of the Year

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. John E. Hillier
  • 131st Bomb Wing Public Affairs

The 131st Bomb Wing celebrated its 2024 Outstanding Airmen of the Year, January 12, 2024.

The Airmen, selected from across the wing’s missions at both Whiteman Air Force Base, and Jefferson Barracks Air National Guard Base, were recognized for their professional expertise and dedication to the mission, as well as consistently representing the best of the communities served by the Missouri National Guard.

“As I look at our Airmen’s accomplishments during the past year, I see the 131st Bomb Wing making an impact all around the world and in our state,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jason Henke, 131st Bomb Wing command chief master sergeant. “These individuals were called to perform their jobs in times of extreme pressure, knowing that their success or failure would have a global impact. They relied on their training and support from family, friends, community partners, and employers to get the job done. I couldn’t be prouder of them and look forward to seeing them compete in the state, regional, and national level competitions.

The honorees, chosen from across the nearly 1200 Airmen of the 131st Bomb Wing, are:

  • Capt. Nilani Singler, 157th Air Operations Group, Company Grade Officer of the Year
  • Mr. Timothy Freeman, 131st Bomb Wing Staff Agencies, Civilian of the Year
  • Master Sgt. Matthew Hembree, 131st Medical Group, First Sergeant of the Year
  • Master Sgt. Dakota Croft, 131st Operations Group, Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.
  • Tech. Sgt. Tamara Mathews, 157th Air Operations Group, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.
  • Staff Sgt. Calista Gasek, 131st Mission Support Group, Junior Enlisted Airman of the Year.

Winners in the state-level competition are expected to be announced later this year.

The 131st Bomb Wing is a classic associate wing with the regular Air Force 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB. It maintains and operates the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, assuring the nation’s global strike capability, while providing strategic deterrence against any adversary. As part of the Missouri National Guard, 131st Airmen provide defense support to civil authorities in times of disaster and emergency, defending lives and property in communities across the state.