Missouri Air National Guardsmen win Gen John P. Jumper Awards for excellence

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. John Quin
  • 131st Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Airmen from the Missouri Air National Guard's 131st Bomb Wing and 239th Combat Communications Squadron recently received the Gen. John P. Jumper Awards for Excellence in Warfighting Integration and Information Dominance.

The awards reflect the dedication and professionalism not only of the Airmen recognized, but of their wingmen as well, said Col. Michael Francis, commander of the 131st Bomb Wing.

"We could not be more proud of the individual Airmen who are being recognized as award recipients," Francis said. "They are outstanding examples of the caliber of Airmen who serve in the 131st and 239th, and the work they have done supporting the total force has been deemed second to none."

The 239th's award recipients include Maj. Joseph Meister, Tech. Sgt. Timothy Loyd, Tech. Sgt. James Kline, and Airman 1st Class LaDarryon Brown. The 131st's Tech. Sgt. Melissa Heupel was also recognized for her outstanding effort.

Meister, who was recognized as an outstanding field grade officer, deployed as commander of the 445th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, where he managed a multi-million dollar cyberspace weapon system and safeguarded the central-west region of Afghanistan.

"My team directly supported the installation's mission sets, which secured Shindand Air Base - the premiere Afghan Air Force training base - executed hundreds of outside-the-wire missions, and enabled future mission capability through a plethora of systems capacity," Meister said.

Meister taught combat skills to the US and Italian Air Force security forces, as well as to the greater female population on Shindand, which enabled air advisors to teach weapons techniques to Afghan soldiers and Airmen, and all but eliminated assaults throughout the base.

Kline, who was recognized for outstanding cyber systems operation, delivered cyberspace services support to Joint Task Force - East as a part of the joint exercise Vigilant Guard 2013, and trained his teammates on the most up-to-date security optimization software and procedures, thereby helping safe-guard vital DOD data.

"Tech Sgt. Kline developed an innovative field change order tracker system, which optimized unit productivity for centralized control and management," Meister said. "He ensured three additional work centers were fully mission-capable while his teammates deployed to Air Expeditionary Forces by maintaining 100 percent of the preventive maintenance inspections, along with the field change orders for dozens of cyberspace systems."

Loyd, who deployed as a radio transmission systems technician with the 445th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, Shindand Air Base, Afghanistan, was recognized as the outstanding cyberspace transport systems noncommissioned officer.

"Loyd and his teammates maintained a $15-million radio frequency network that supported Operation Enduring Freedom," Meister said. "He managed the instrumental recovery of $1.5 million of land mobile radio equipment, and established a baseline for personal wireless accounting across the Regional Command-West area of operation."

Additionally, Loyd led the management of the base radio frequency spectrum, which mitigated frequency conflicts between Army, Air Force and other government agencies' radio and operational systems.

Brown, who was recognized for outstanding knowledge operations management, volunteered to learn the Army MC4 system, and created more than 200 user accounts - which directly contributed to just-in-time training for deploying Army medical units during the 2013 Global Medic/Warrior Exercise at Fort McCoy, Wisc. He became the MC4 subject-matter-expert, correcting 120 service requests with 100-percent customer satisfaction.

"The forward operating base commander and first sergeant lauded his performance," Meister said. "Brown volunteered continually during the site activation task force unit optimization move from Lambert International Airport to Jefferson Barracks. He even assisted on his non-duty days and epitomizes the Air Force value of 'service before self.'"

Tech. Sgt. Melissa Heupel, 131st Operations Support Flight, was awarded as Outstanding Civilian Specialist. She assisted the active duty functional in re-writing Air Force instructions and checklists, was named as the "one or two most knowledgeable" in her career field, and chosen as a consolidated unit inspection inspector. She led the total force integration shop of 131st and active duty 509th Bomb Wing personnel in the initial nuclear surety inspection, receiving the inspector general's coin and letter of commendation, as well as the 131st wing commander's coin.

Heupel, a fulltime civilian employee with the Missouri Air National Guard's 131st Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, who also serves as a drilling Air Guardsmen, guided her shop during this past summer's Air Force Global Strike Command inspection when she earned recognition as a "Superior Performer" and member of a "Superior Team."

"The Whiteman active duty and Guard combat crew communications team has been a total force integration win, in large part to the leadership and skill of Tech Sgt Heupel," said Lt. Col. Ryan Bailey, 131st OSF commander. "Her professionalism and commitment has made the "one team, one fight" concept a reality in her shop. She is a recognized expert in her career field and brings continuity and experience to her shop. This award is a tremendous credit to Melissa and the Whiteman total force team she works with everyday."

Winners from all categories move on to compete at the Air Force level.