An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Best in 4th Air Force named at Raincross Trophy Dinner

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Linda E. Welz
  • Fourth Air Force public affairs
The Fourth Air Force Senior Leader's Conference, with the theme of Leadership...Embracing Change, kicked off Wednesday morning, July. 20, 2010, at the historic Mission Inn, Riverside, Calif., when members from the Blue Eagles Honor Guard presented the colors.
The 4AF Commander, Maj. Gen. Eric Crabtree, said in a welcome letter that the annual conference is an opportunity for a core group of commanders and command chiefs in the numbered Air Force to come together and share information. He said this forum is where the group can hear current, highly relevant information and raise general issues concerning their organizations, develop practical solutions to these issues and make new friends while learning from each other.
In addition to this year's conference, the gathering is also an opportunity for the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce to host the Raincross Trophy Dinner. This year's celebration, held at the Riverside Convention Center, is the 12th annual event and honored excellence in 4th Air Force. In conjunction with the Bob Hope Chapter of the Air Force Association, and other community sponsors, including The Silver Eagle Club, The Boeing Company, March Healthcare Development, The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, Stronghold Engineering and Security Bank of California, the following winners were recognized:

2009 Raincross Trophy Award - 445th AW, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
The 445th Airlift Wing, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, distinguished itself by exceptionally meritorious service from 1 January to 31 December 2009. The Wing, under the leadership of Colonel Stephen D. Goeman and Command Chief Master Sergeant Peri L. Rogowski significantly exceeded command goals and consistently responded to Department of Defense, USAF and Air Mobility Command taskings. Wing aircrews flew 2,979 hours, with a perfect safety record. Aircrew members flew 84 missions and 410 sorties for 2,049 flying hours, transporting 3,308 passengers and 10,171 tons of cargo in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM. The wing provided a total of 230 volunteers for Air Expeditionary Force, Cycle seven and eight deployments, and mobilized an additional 110 personnel for AEF, Cycle seven and eight deployments. The wing's Departure Reliability Rate increased 10%, Mission Capable Rate increased 50%, and Maintenance Scheduling Effectiveness increased 34%. The 87th Aerial Port Squadron planned and executed six Annual Tour deployments supporting 7,197 passengers and 7,141 short tons of cargo on 470 AMC missions. The Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron successfully generated 89 missions with no Class A mishaps. The wing's Honor Guard Program manager and one of its Base Honor Guard members were recognized by Air Force Reserve Command and named yearly winners for 2009. One-fourth of the wing's enlisted Airmen achieved or maintained advanced standing with the Community College of the Air Force. The wing's community relations program included participation in the Dayton Air Show, two civic leader tours, two Veteran's Hospital events, a C-5 Galaxy featured role in two national television shows and the Aeromedical Staging Squadron's work with our National Park System. Wing members supported local churches, charities, Toys for Tots, and the VA hospital. The Yellow Ribbon Program support team, in conjunction with the Airmen and Family Readiness staff, hosted five YRP events. The wing received the first ever AFRC Logistic Compliance Assessment Program evaluation. The team evaluated and inspected 2,224 Maintenance, Logistics Readiness and Aerial Port events and found zero observations. The distinctive accomplishments of the member of the 445th Airlift Wing reflect great credit upon themselves and Fourth Air Force.

2009 Aircrew Excellence Award - 459 ARW, Andrews AFB, Md.
Capt. Daniel A. Vicchio, 1st. Lt. John V. Mortenson, and Staff Sgt. Dana M. Fernkas distinguished themselves by meritorious achievement while participating in sustained aerial flight as a KC-135R crew, 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, 379th Expeditionary Operations Group, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar during the period 1 January to 21 December 2009. In the month of April 2009, they alone flew 20 combat air missions, totaling approximately 150 hours and offloading more than 960,000 pounds of fuel to more than 90 receivers, extending United States and coalition aircraft over the skies of Afghanistan and Iraq in direct support of United States Central Command Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM. Their outstanding airmanship directly supported the stabilization and rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, enabling the people to form new democratic governments, thereby furthering the strategic goals of the Global War on Terrorism. As testament to their airmanship, they selflessly took control of a situation in which an F-18 was facing a bailout scenario, fuel leading from its wings and having declared an in-flight emergency, the crew acted gallantly and affected a safe return to the home aircraft carrier. The collectively distinctive accomplishments of Capt. Daniel A. Vicchio, 1st. Lt. John V. Mortenson, and Staff Sgt. Dana M. Fernkas reflect great credit upon themselves and the United States Air Force.

In total, the aircrew flew 39 missions, consisting of 37 combat missions and two combat aerial medical evacuation missions. Amassing more than 260 stressful combat flight hours, while offloading more than 1.9 million pounds of fuel to more than 130 US and NATO aircraft. While flying combat sorties over kill box areas in Iraq and Afghanistan, the 756 ARS crew supported direct combat operations with ground forces under fire from the enemy. Numerous times they were called in to refuel fighter aircraft supporting Troops in Combat (TIC) events requiring immediate aerial support outside protected airspace. The crew also directly supported 25 aerial demonstrations of force with armed engagements, resulting in the expenditure of 38 GBU-38 & GBU-12s, totaling 19,000 pounds of ordnance and 3700 rounds of 20mm/30mm ammunition.
During the month of April, the crew exhibited unequalled teamwork by providing a last minute escort for a crippled Navy F/A-18 experiencing an in-flight emergency. The mishap aircraft was continuously leaking fuel from one of its wings. The exceptional airmanship and calm under pressure of this crew provided the emergency aircraft a safe recovery to an awaiting aircraft carrier. For their outstanding display of teamwork, professional abilities, and exemplary aerial achievement, each crewmember was awarded an Air Medal from Lt. Gen. Gilmary Hostage, Commander, USAF Central Command.
In addition to their flight duties, this aircrew also worked ground duties. These duties included serving as the Supervisor of Flying for the 379the Expeditionary Wing, as well as providing security and accountability for deployed personnel. This air crew also provided transportation for all aircrew classified documents for the 340th Expeditionary Aerial Refueling Squadron.
Col. James Allman, Commander, 459th ARW, said in the nomination package , "I am very proud to lead such outstanding aviators and citizen airmen. They all three have volunteered to serve their country while at war on two fronts and have done so proudly and courageously. Their repeated acts of selfless devotion to duty exemplify the Air Force core values of 'Service Before Self' and 'Excellence in All We Do' and are shining examples 'Unrivaled Wingmen.'"

Chief Master Sgt. James K. Clouse Trophy - 452nd MG, 452nd AMW, March ARB, Calif.
This annual award recognizes the 4th Air Force maintenance organization that has achieved the highest standards in safety, mission support, demonstrated ingenuity, mission accomplishments and maintenance excellence. The 4th Air Force logistics directorate convenes a board of senior maintenance non-commissioned-officers to select the unit that best exemplifies the concepts recognized by this award. Chief Clouse stood out as an individual who exemplified continuous improvement and value-added change. 
Throughout the year the 452nd Maintenance Group, 452nd Air Mobility Wing, March Air Reserve Base, Calif., meticulously executed their aggressive annual flying hour program, with both airframes, by performing wartime, training and contingency missions to perfection. Additionally, the experience and professional citizen Airmen of the 452nd MG, surpassed AFRC's Mission Capable goals. The C-17s exceeded the AFRC goal (which is also the active-duty goal) of 87.5 percent by almost 2 percent. The KC-135s smashed AFRC's goal of 71 percent by an astounding 14 percent. Most important, the 452nd MG operates as a strong team in AFRC's only unit-equipped Air Mobility Wing.

2009 4th AF Outstanding Airmen of the Year winners were:
First Sergeant of the Year: Master Sergeant Takesha S. Williams, 507th Operations Support Flight, 507th Air Refueling Wing, Tinker AFB, Okla.

Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year: Senior Master Sergeant Steven S. West, 349th Security Forces Squadron, 349th Air Mobility Wing, Travis AFB, Calif.

Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year: Technical Sergeant Eric B. Nehls, 349th Operations Group, 349th Air Mobility Wing, Travis AFB, Calif.

Airman of the Year: Staff Sergeant Bradley W. Williams, 72nd Aerial Port Squadron, 507th Air Refueling Wing, Tinker AFB, Okla.

For additional information, please call 951.655.6514, visit our public website or visit the "official" Fourth Air Force Facebook fan page (search: 4th Air Force)