Barneveld man named NORAD’s outstanding junior officer

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New York Air National Guard 1st Lt. Matthew Cummings, of Barneveld, has been named the North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) Command’s outstanding company grade officer for 2020.

A New York Air National Guardsmen stationed at the Eastern Air Defense Sector, Cummings is a senior director with the 224th Air Defense Squadron. NORAD recognized him for leading a team that enforced 32 temporary flight restrictions for presidential flights and for his work on 20 higher headquarters exercises and 40 training missions.

Under Cummings’ leadership, his crew successfully met the increased demands created by the COVID-19 pandemic, working 2,500 more missions in 2020 than in 2019. He also conducted two-thirds of his crew’s positional evaluations.

“Being recognized as NORAD’s best Company Grade Officer is a remarkable achievement and I congratulate 1st Lt. Cummings on his accomplishment,” said Col. Paul. M. Bishop, EADS Commander. “Lt. Cummings professional excellence and dedication to the mission serves as a great example for the Airmen he skillfully leads and for the officers he works with.” This is the second outstanding company grade award Cummings earned this year.

He received the Continental NORAD Region-1st Air Force award in March. Cummings also received the 1st Air Force’s Command and Control Enlisted Warrior of the Year award in 2012.

A prior enlisted officer with more than 15 years in uniform, Cummings’ initial assignment was with the 729th Air Control Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

A surveillance technician and weapons director, he deployed with the 729th to Balad Air Base, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Cummings transferred to EADS and joined the New York Air National Guard in 2009. After being commissioned as an officer in 2017, Cummings attended Air Battle Management School at Tyndall AFB, Florida, where he was the honor graduate.

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