Quarterly award winners announced
Desert Lightning Team members stand on stage following the fourth quarter awards ceremony Jan. 20, 2012 at the base theater. Each member received recognition for being the best individual performer in their category for the final quarter of 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brittany Dowdle)
Posted 1/25/2012 Updated 1/25/2012
1/25/2012 - DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- On Jan. 20, the Desert Lightning Team held its awards ceremony for the fourth quarter, October through December 2011. Airmen and civilian employees were recognized as the installation's top performers from 5,000 eligible for award consideration.
The award winners from the Desert Lightning Team are:
Junior Civilian category
Ms. Darlene Mathieu, 42nd Electronic Combat Squadron
Ms. Mathieu simultaneously led her squadron and represented the 355th Fighter Wing during the 2011 Air Force Network Integration Center Information Assurance Inspection, resulting in zero discrepancies noted and being lauded as "best of the best" by program inspectors. Ms. Mathieu executed Unit Fitness Program Manager duties for her squadron, ensuring all members completed their fitness assessments on-time. Since assuming these responsibilities, the Raptors have achieved a 94 percent pass rate with more than half of those achieving excellent scores on their assessments. During the fourth quarter of 2011, Ms. Mathieu completed seven hours of Unit Program Coordinator training, enhancing her professional knowledge and being recognized as the top Unit Program Coordinator in the group by the 55th Electronic Combat Group Commander. When not performing in her official capacity, Ms. Mathieu volunteered 20 hours teaching Sunday school, which provided a safe and fun learning environment for 28 local kids. She also led a team for the University of Arizona 2011 Melanoma Walk, which in-turn donated $600 for the cause and helped raise a grand total of $30,000 for skin cancer research.
Intermediate Civilian category
Mr. Robert Capogrosso, 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group
During the fourth quarter of 2011, Mr. Capogrosso completed inspections of 120 pieces of aerospace ground equipment, contributing to a 92 percent equipment availability rate. He refined his section's inspection program, which reduced an inspection backlog by 75 percent. He also responded to and mitigated a critical work stoppage by replacing a faulty generator circuit card, allowing vital support to Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty procedures. Mr. Capogrosso completed his bachelor's degree in Business Management, and maintained a 3.5 grade point average in subsequent classes towards his master's degree. Mr. Capogrosso was very active in his community, coaching five and six year old children in the USA Youth Soccer League and tutoring 10 and 11 year old kids at Liberty Elementary School in math and science.
Senior Civilian category
Mr. Carl E. Colbert, 612th Air and Space Operations Center
Mr. Colbert Authored training milestones and identified goals to meet higher headquarters program guidance, which provided clear objectives for the AOC's Strategy Division. He co-authored a military deception exercise and workgroup checklists and laid the foundation for execution. These efforts were critical in resurrecting a critical Air Combat Command program. Mr. Colbert discovered a critical electronic warfare gap, against which he leveraged D-M Compass Call capabilities and revitalized planning and slashed EW response time three-fold. Mr. Colbert pursued self-improvement by completing Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute training and applying theories his duty section. During his personal time, Mr. Colbert volunteered as a cyclist for Susan G. Komen breast cancer and National Alliance on Mental Illness events, raising more than $1,600 for these causes. He also supported the Twilight Wish Foundation by serving 200 holiday meals for low-income senior citizens.
Senior Airman Eliseo G. Guerrero
Guerrero assumed NCOIC responsibilities during the 2011 Logistics Compliance Assessment Program inspection. Guerrero's management of seven War Reserve Material programs and 203 items of equipment worth $11 million were praised by Air Combat Command inspectors. Guerrero created a 195-task deployment schedule of events for the November operational readiness exercise, and was named a superior performer for the exercise. During the last quarter, Guerrero trained 20 newly appointed Unit Deployment Managers, which increased UDM capabilities by 39 percent. Guerrero also found time to accomplish three classes toward his Community College of the Air Force degree, volunteer time for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and dedicate eight hours for Habitat for Humanity, where he assisted in the construction of homes for two needy families.
Non-Commissioned Officer category
Tech. Sgt. Katie Neeley, 355th Dental Squadron
Neeley served as Dental Flight Operations NCOIC, where she raised Davis-Monthan dental readiness to 99 percent, which led Air Combat Command and helped directly contribute to D-M winning the ACC Installation Excellence Award for 2011. During the fourth quarter, Neeley was appointed as the 355th Medical Group document coordinator for the group's 2011 Health Services Inspection preparation. During the prep, Neeley reviewed and processed more than 1,800 documents and scrutinized 5,000 inspectable items. She also procured more than $400,000 worth of equipment and supplies which are vital to dental clinic functions. These efforts ensured an outstanding rating for the 355th Medical Group. Neeley completed Air Force Senior NCO Academy correspondence course while maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average towards a Master's degree in Management. Finally, Neeley served as the DLT Culture of Responsible Choices Vice President, where she coordinated five events and raised $4,000 to education DLT Airmen on drug and alcohol abuse prevention.
Senior Non-Commissioned Officer category
Master Sgt. William F. Tolbert, 355th Security Forces Squadron
Tolbert led 61 Defenders and achieved an outstanding 99 percent on duty position evaluations for the fourth quarter 2011. In December, Tolbert served as the on-scene commander for a missing child incident, where he coordinated parent interviews and search efforts that led to the recovery of the child in less than 30 minutes. Tolbert directed 18,000 visitor background checks, and denied entry to 57 people with violent felony convictions, ensuring the security of more than 25,000 people. Tolbert completed a CCAF degree and a bachelor's degree, and also attended an 80-hour Federal Emergency Management Incident Command and Crisis Intervention Course. During his off-duty time, Tolbert led 22 volunteers at a United Way Day of Caring event, which devoted 110 community service hours and raised $400 for the Tucson Boys and Girls Club.
Company Grade Officer category
Capt. Lisa A. Stokey, 755th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
Stokey managed AFCENT's only EC-130H fleet, which flew 313 combat missions and was key to the capture of 2,000 insurgents and the seizure of 210 weapons. Stokey led a 64-member combat maintenance unit, which corrected 373 Pilot Reported Discrepancies and enabled 1,900 flying hours. This also nailed an 86.2 percent mission capable rate and maintained an outstanding 90 percent quality assurance pass rate. Stokey found time to complete three Defense Acquisition University courses, which gave her 31 Continuous Learning Points toward her Senior Maintenance Officer certification. Despite the high combat operations tempo, Stokey organized a deployed unit Thanksgiving celebration. She raised $600 for door prizes, which skyrocketed holiday morale.
Field Grade Officer category
Maj. Greg J. Thompson, 355th Fighter Wing
As Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, Thompson flawlessly led ACC's most tasked office for 18 days during a Staff Judge Advocate absence, where he supervised nine attorneys and coordinated 20 hours of legal personnel training. Thompson volunteered to brief the 305th Rescue Squadron on Afghanistan Rules of Engagement and Special Instructions, which ensured 25 aircrew members were fully prepared for combat deployment. Thompson also served as the lead attorney for a $160,000 money laundering courts-martial. He organized more than 750 hours of trial preparation and examined 23 witnesses, which secured a 17-year incarceration and dishonorable discharge for the offender. Thompson authored a four page leadership article which was published in a JAG periodical and volunteered 40 weekend hours to the American Mock Trial Association, managing two tournaments at the University of Arizona and the Air Force Academy.