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193rd SOW Recognizes Outstanding Airmen

  • Published
  • By Airman Diana Snyder
  • 193rd Special Operations Wing

Five Airmen from the 193rd Special Operations Wing (SOW) were recognized as Outstanding Airmen of the Year at the 193rd SOW Aug. 6 in Middletown, Pennsylvania.

The reward ceremony was presided by Brig. Gen. Michael Regan, Deputy Adjutant General-Air for Pennsylvania and Commander of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.

In his remarks, Regan emphasized the award ceremony not only commemorated the hard work and dedication of the outstanding recipients but their supportive families who help make their excellence possible.

“It is a well-known fact that none of us, myself included, would do what we do, whether we're here full time, at drill, or in a deployed location, without the support of the family and neighbors at home,” said Regan. “This is not just for the Airman or the officer who got the award - it’s recognition for the families too.”

This year’s Outstanding Airmen of the Year are: Senior Airman Christopher Harkins, Staff Sgt. Alan McCutcheon, Senior Master Sgt. Kristin Graby, Master Sgt. Katarina Wetzel and Maj. Andrew Verriotto.

They each represented the highest performance in their peer groups through separate competition categories of junior enlisted Airman, non-commissioned officer, senior non-commissioned officer, first sergeant and company grade officer.

During the ceremony, McCutcheon’s awarding was credited to his expert execution as a munitions systems specialist both at home and overseas. In the past year, it was outlined that he participated in a green flag exercise, deployed to Allied Forces Central Europe, and served as a victim advocate for the 193rd SOW.

“I went out there to do my job because that was my job, and to be recognized for the work you do - the struggles and hardships you have to push through to get the mission done - is just awesome,” said McCutcheon. “Moving forward, it definitely raises the bar for where I have to perform, but I welcome that challenge with open arms."

Harkins, another recipient and a junior enlisted Airman from the 193rd Air Intelligence Squadron, was recognized for identifying and disrupting enemy actions to ground units, ensuring mission success and no loss of life while deployed. He provided intelligence to two special operations forces raids and 53 forward operating bases. At home, Harkins was said to have devoted his time to the base color guard, guided museum patrons and supported the local community through blood drives and health awareness seminars.

The 193rd SOW is dedicated to recognizing its high performing Airmen and continually encourages each of its members to shine above the rest through competition, comradery and appreciation, said Colonel Eric McKissick, Vice Wing Commander of the 193rd SOW.

 “When you perform at a certain level, you'll get rewarded for it and that empowers our Airmen to go out and do their very best. If they do that, then we have to make sure they are recognized for those outstanding efforts,” said McKissick.