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Celebrating our Airmen: 944FW Senior Non-commissioned Officer of the Year nominees

The 944th Fighter Wing is built on the foundation of our outstanding Airmen. We are proud of the diligence and commitment these Elite Reserve Citizen Airmen display and are pleased to highlight those who have been nominated for the 2020 944 FW Annual Awards.

944th Fighter Wing 2020 Annual Awards Senior Non-commissioned officers of the Year nominees. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Master Sgt. Louis Vega Jr.)

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. --

The 944th Fighter Wing is built on the foundation of our outstanding Airmen. We are proud of the diligence and commitment these Elite Reserve Citizen Airmen display and are pleased to highlight those who have been nominated for the 2020 944 FW Annual Awards.

The categories of recognition for the annual awards program include rank-based categories: Airmen (E1-E4), Non-commission Officers (E5-E6), Senior Non-commissioned Officers (E7-E9), Company Grade Officers (O1-O3), Field Grade Officers (O4-O6), Junior Civilians (GS 8 and below), and Senior Civilians (GS 9 and above). In addition, we recognize outstanding performance for positional based accomplishments for First Sergeants, Instructor Pilots, and Instructor Weapons Systems Operators.

The members below are the nominees in the Senior Non-commission Officer (E7-E9) category. We are proud of the many accomplishments of these members and look forward to celebrating them during our virtual awards ceremony on January 30, 2020.

SNCO of the Year nominees:

Master Sergeant Candice Bullard-Norwood, 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron readiness superintendent

In 2020, MSgt Bullard-Norwood managed 10 medical readiness programs ensuring unit compliance and coordinated the rapid deployment of unit personal for COVID-19 relief efforts.  She was selected as the Rising 6 senior enlisted advisor, providing mentorship to developing Airmen.  Bullard-Norwood volunteered in her local community to inspect over 5 thousand Personal Protective Equipment items for local care organizations and packed and delivered 100 personal hygiene kits for at-risk community members, improving their quality of life.

Master Sergeant Michael Loose, 944th Maintenance Group product improvement manager

In 2020, MSgt Loose launched the first virtual product improvement working group, identified a critical fail averting aircraft mishaps, and streamlined maintenance group data transfer procedures decreasing engine non-mission compliance.  He established inspection criteria for support equipment, alleviating the loss of a $1 million ejection seat.  Loose also volunteered to clean litter from around a community lake, supporting the local environment.

Senior Master Sergeant Michael Pedraza, 944th Security Forces Squadron operations superintendent

In 2020, SMSgt Pedraza organized a critical COVID-19 backfill for 386 days at the largest Air Force Reserve base and crafted a combat tactics course, developing the first-ever shoot, move, communicate training for wing personnel.  He led the Top 3 empowerment and mentorship event helping to raise member resilience.  Pedraza also volunteered as a coach for a local youth football team and dedicated time to renovate a home for an elderly community member.

Senior Master Sergeant James Pumarejo, 924th Maintenance Squadron munitions flight chief

In 2020, SMSgt Pumarejo directed two thousand maintenance operations with a 95 percent QA pass rate, generated nearly 11 thousand bombs and guided munitions and led a bomb pad reno project eliminating a safety hazard for Airmen.  He coordinated and taught five evaluation and decoration writing classes for unit members, enhancing their career knowledge.  Pumarejo also spearheaded a Santas in Blue effort in support of 63 local school children.

Master Sergeant Amanda Robinson, 69th Fighter Squadron aviation resource management craftsman

In 2020, MSgt Robinson validated 80 flight crew logs and streamlined flight records to accelerate electronic conversions for the wing and four geographically separated units.  She led her unit as a physical training leader, performed as an undershirt to mentor unit members and helped lead four wing mentoring events with the Top 3.  Robinson served as the Top 3 secretary and coordinated two wing induction ceremonies, recognizing the significant accomplishments of more than 65 members.

Master Sergeant Erik Wise, 414th Maintenance Squadron specialist flight chief

In 2020, MSgt Wise developed a virtual mission plan to ensure 180 members could accomplish core tasks during COVID-19 telework requirements.  He created an engine maintenance tracker resulting in 100 maintenance actions with zero discrepancies and was a leader for the 2020 Red Flag Rescue exercise, providing real time combat injects for joint service training.  Wise also volunteered with a local church to organize equipment for virtual worship services and aided in hurricane damage repair for community members.