EADS receives trio of awards for excellence

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The Eastern Air Defense Sector, based at Griffiss park, has received three annual awards from the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command-1st Air Force (CONR-1AF), announced EADS.

Among award winners:

• Capt. Jason Cole of Whitesboro, an air battle manager at the New York Air National Guard’s 224th Air Defense Squadron, was named Command and Control Warrior of the Year.

He was cited for his work in support of Presidential travel, the United Nations General Assembly, hurricane relief and training.

• The 224th Air Defense Squadron’s (ADS) Intelligence Section won the Outstanding Operational Support Flight among Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance units.

Its educational and training efforts — including providing more than 200 briefings — were recognized as exemplary, said EADS.

Other achievements included integrating intelligence into cyber protection and identifying and correcting vulnerabilities.

The section includes Lt. Col. Steve Fritschi, Clinton: Maj. Alison Becker, Valatia; Maj. Michael Geer, Oneida; Master Sgt. Clifford Fallico, Rome: Tech. Sgt. James Sankey, Vernon; Tech. Sgt. Michael Valenti, Springfield; Airman 1st Class Gary Gillespie, Rome.

• EADS also received CONR-1AF’s outstanding command and control unit award.

Among the accomplishments cited in the award announcement included overseeing air defense at the Presidential inauguration, coordinating 65 days of hurricane relief operations that featured 1,350 search and rescue missions, 10 million pounds of cargo delivery and evacuation of 10,000 people.

The unit was also recognized for incorporating innovative new systems into air defense, developing a new operations floor layout that separated training from real-world activity for the first time at the Rome facility, and providing thousands of volunteer hours for community projects.

“Winning an annual award in an organization as large as CONR-1st Air Force is a remarkable achievement and I congratulate Capt. Cole, the ADS intelligence section and the entire unit,” said Col. Emil Filkorn, EADS Commander.

“As a commander, the awards are especially gratifying because they recognize the things I see every day: the professional skill, technical excellence and personal dedication that makes EADS successful.”

EADS, a North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) headquarters unit, employs about 400 and is responsible for the air defense of 180 million Americans in the eastern U.S.

It is composed of New York Air National Guardsmen from the 224th Air Defense Group, a Canadian Forces detachment, Army, Navy and Coast Guard liaison officers, and federal civilians. It also has two detachments in the National Capital Region.

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