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12th Air Force Recognizes Outstanding Performers

U.S. Air Force Chaplain Maj. Gen. Cecil Richardson, Chief of chaplains, gives a speech during the 12th Air Force Outstanding Performer of the Year Banquet at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Feb 13, 2012. Chaplain Richardson was the guest speaker for the the 12th Air Force Outstanding Performer of the Year Banquet. (U.S. air force photo by Airman 1st Class Camilla Griffin/Released)

U.S. Air Force Chaplain Maj. Gen. Cecil Richardson, Chief of chaplains, gives a speech during the 12th Air Force Outstanding Performer of the Year Banquet at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Feb 13, 2012. Chaplain Richardson was the guest speaker for the the 12th Air Force Outstanding Performer of the Year Banquet. (U.S. air force photo by Airman 1st Class Camilla Griffin/Released)

U.S. Air Force Gen. Robin Rand, 12th Air Force Commander, gives a speech during the 12th Air Force Outstanding Performer of the Year Banquet at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Feb 13, 2012. The OPY Banquet recognized 12th Air Force’s most outstanding performers. (U.S. air force photo by Airman 1st Class Camilla Griffin/Released)

U.S. Air Force Gen. Robin Rand, 12th Air Force Commander, gives a speech during the 12th Air Force Outstanding Performer of the Year Banquet at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Feb 13, 2012. The OPY Banquet recognized 12th Air Force’s most outstanding performers. (U.S. air force photo by Airman 1st Class Camilla Griffin/Released)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- The headquarters of 12th Air Force and the 355th Fighter Wing played host to leadership and outstanding performers from all 12th Air Force bases for a banquet recognizing the 2011 Outstanding Performers of the Year here Feb. 13.

The 2011 OPY banquet recognized the nominees for their hard work and dedication that set them apart from more than 42,000 servicemembers and civilians in the 12th Air Force.

Airmen and civilian nominees from across the country were treated to a tour of Davis-Monthan, and the local Tucson area by civic leaders. Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Cecil R. Richardson, the Air Force Chief of Chaplains, echoed his thanks to the winners.

"By serving America in uniform, by your reaching out today and boldly taking up the mantle of excellence in all we do," Chaplain Richardson said. "You bind yourself by invisible cords to those great patriots who fought at Yorktown and Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima and Pork Chop Hill and Normandy and the Kuwaiti desert and Robert's Ridge and downtown Baghdad and the mountains of Afghanistan."

Lt. Gen. Robin Rand, 12th AF (Air Forces Southern) commander, presided over the announcement of the overall winners.

"I am convinced that our young men and women are the best our country has to offer, the very best," General Rand said. "I want to thank all of you for your service during this very difficult time."

Congratulations to the following 12th AF Outstanding Performers of the Year:

Airman Category
Senior Airman Cory Branham
366th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Mountain-Home Air Force Base, Idaho.

NCO Category
Tech. Sgt. Anthony James
7th Bomb Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.

Senior NCO Category
Senior Master Sgt. Eric Soluri
28th Security Forces Squadron, Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.

First Sergeant Category
Master Sgt. Jennifer Wampler
49th Materiel Maintenance Support Squadron, Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.

Company Grade Officer Category
Capt. Kristen Cangelosi
12th Air Force (AFSOUTH), Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

Field Grade Officer Category
Maj. Bud Fujii-Takamoto
12th Reconnaissance Squadron, Beale Air Force Base, Calif.

Junior Civilian Category
Ms. Pauline Martin
355th Dental Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

Intermediate Civilian Category
Mr. Anthony Crago
388th Range Squadron, Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

Senior Civilian Category
Mr. Everett Brooks
49th Communications Squadron, Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.

The evening's award winners will represent 12th AF at the Air Combat Command Outstanding Performers of the Year banquet later this year.

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