35th Force Support Squadron sweeps Pacific Air Forces awards
By Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Hutto , 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 18, 2018
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --
U.S. Pacific Air Forces awarded the 35th Force Support Squadron with seven 2017 A1 awards for manpower, personnel and services.
The A1 awards recognize individuals and unit capabilities while highlighting the successful endeavors throughout the A1 community.
The squadron received two flight awards for their sustainment services and child and youth services flights.
The child and youth flight secured more than $23,000 in grants, allowing them to expand the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programs and secured applicable resources. The flight also overcame an unprecedented hiring freeze and became the first in the Air Force to secure hiring waivers, ensuring uninterrupted childcare for the child development center's 164 children.
The sustainment services flight’s diverse 171 member team had a major impact on the entire 35th Fighter Wing and dominated the comprehensive airmen fitness pillars. They supported major exercises like Northern Viper 17 and opened the Wild Weasel's Bar and Grill. Additionally, their collective efforts led to the best lodging operation in PACAF, expanded hours and improved menu options at both dining facilities and more than one million patron visits generating $24 million in revenue.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Sidney Squires, the 35th FSS commander, earned the Lieutenant General Norm Lezy Award, which recognizes a FSS leader making outstanding contributions to their installation while displaying superior leadership qualities.
Helen C. McCrae, a Yoiko Child Development Center program technician, earned the Dr. Beverly L. Schmalzried Award, which recognizes a significant and unique impact in the field of family child care. McCrae was one of only 50 nation-wide recipients of the 2017 Children's TYLENOL National Child Care Teacher Award for her inspiring preschool classroom enhancement project, "Sharing with The World." McCrae instilled the concept of sharing with her preschool children, which inspired clothing donations for some of the poorest orphanages in Africa, Europe, North America, South America, Australia and Asia.
U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Santiago Padilla, the 35th FSS sustainment services flight superintendent, earned the Installation Level Force Support Senior NCO of the Year Award. With a team of 210 professionals executing quality of life programs and vital life sustainment for 11,500 residents, Padilla leads the largest flight within 35th FSS. He oversees food operations for two dining facilities, postal service operations, the Misawa Inn and two fitness centers.
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Donald M. Flowers, the 35th FSS fitness section chief, earned the Installation Level Force Support NCO of the Year Award. Flowers served as the lodging section chief for six months, leading 44 staff members in two $40 million lodging building renovations. As the fitness section chief, he facilitates 715 aerobic classes, overseeing 11 instructors supporting 11,000 patrons ensuring a 98 percent fitness assessment pass rate for the wing.
Overall, PACAF awarded the 35th FSS with the Major General Eugene L. Eubank award for best small installation force support squadron. This award encompassed every area of the highly diverse squadron and showcased all of the units new programs, services and initiatives the team accomplished over the past year. Winning the Eubank has been the capstone event for the squadron in 2017.
“I’m extremely proud of the entire team,” said Squires. “Their dedication to improve the quality of life for the entire Wild Weasel community is unprecedented and this recognition verifies their hard work did not go unnoticed.”
The award recipients will go on to compete at the Air Force-level, representing Misawa Air Base and the nine bases in PACAF.