AFIMSC Airmen earn top honors at AFMC Annual Excellence Awards

  • Published
  • By London Prince and Elliott Moses
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – Three Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center members won top honors during the Air Force Materiel Command Annual Excellence Awards Banquet held April 17 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

Master Sgt. Genevieve Villela was named Senior NCO of the Year, Maj. Matthew Bogan was named Field Grade Officer of the Year and Crystal Petty was named Category I Civilian of the Year. 

“I’m very thankful you’re on our team because we are living in a time of consequence and what we’re doing now really matters,” said Gen. Duke Z. Richardson, AFMC commander. “Make everyday count and do the best work you can do for your nation. This is your time to make a difference.”

As the former financial operations policy and procedures manager for AFIMSC’s Financial Management Directorate here and now a member of the 502nd Comptroller Squadron, Villela provided support and oversight to 83 installations in financial matters, including process improvements and automations in military pay, travel pay, civilian pay, banking, disbursing and quality assurance programs.

“Master Sergeant Villela is an exceptionally innovative leader,” said Kurt Schmidbauer, FM Integration Branch chief. “She is continuously focused on how she and her financial operations team can streamline the delivery of data to improve the lives of comptroller squadron personnel at the bases, and ensure our Airmen and Guardians are paid correctly and in a timely manner.” 

In 2023, Villela was a special staff senior enlisted leader for the Joint Special Operations Command Program Budget Advisory Committee where she helped secure $2 million for 312 joint missions supporting the president. The missions led to the disabling of the ISIS global funding network in Somalia and liberated 6,700 Sudanese evacuees. 

She also piloted the first-ever Air Force-level analytics pay dashboards and revamped basic military training accessions to eliminate one-third of the steps in the process, saving 1,000-man hours and $1.8 million in Airmen debts. 

“Her extraordinary innovations in the financial realm have saved the Air Force time, money and manpower,” Schmidbauer added.

As the Future Operations Branch chief for the Air Force Installation Contracting Center at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Bogan provides critical operational contract support to Pacific Air Forces as the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command lead service for contracting coordination. He supports 40 annual exercises, and integrates and plans commercial and non-commercial support solutions that are integral to employing wartime concepts such as agile combat employment.

“His resilience has positively affected military personnel and civilians alike,” said Col. Dale Skinner, AFICC director of staff. “His work has helped open doors for the Air Force and encouraged collaboration between nations.”

In 2023, Bogan led the PACAF Joint Task Force recovery contracting team at Andersen AFB, Guam, after Typhoon Mawar devastated the base, coordinating requirements that supported 1,300 displaced people, recovered the Air Force’s largest fuel system and restored airfield operations within 24 hours. 

He also ignited the first F-35 combat exhibition and partnership with 26 countries, which created 10,000 jobs. He piloted contracting support for the U.S. and Thailand's first exercise that comprised 6,000 joint forces from 20 different nations and employed first satellite resiliency testing and advanced multi-domain tactics.

“Major Bogan has a remarkable commitment to innovation and growth that has touched a lot of lives,” Skinner said.

In her role as a quality assurance technician for the FM Travel Pay Processing Branch at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, Petty performs audit reviews annually, quarterly and monthly to ensure accuracy for travel pay processing teams. Considered a subject matter expert in travel pay, she is a core trainer for her branch and supports the audit team by providing research for complex issues.

“Ms. Petty’s efforts have a direct impact on 12 major commands and 96 installations around the world. Her expertise and customer service focus make her an exceptional trainer for new voucher processing technicians,” said Gregory A. Hansel, branch chief. “She leads by example and is always willing to step up and assist undermanned teams.”

In 2023, Petty directed 10 technicians for accurate computation of travel claims for U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa, Air Force Materiel Command and Air Mobility Command, ensuring 35,000 vouchers worth $28 million were paid in under seven calendar days, beating the Air Force goal by eight days. She also played a vital role integrating a Payment Integrity Information Act business process change from one functional area to another and provided expert guidance to the resource training center for the first squadron virtual training program.

Petty was hand selected as an only civilian student for Airman Leadership School. While attending, she earned the John L. Levitow Award, the top leadership award presented to a graduate.

“Ms. Petty radiates professionalism, integrity and enthusiasm both on and off duty, inspiring others with her work ethic, mentorship and commitment to excellence in all aspects of her life,” Hansel said. “As a wife and mother of four teenagers, Crystal dedicates countless hours to a nonprofit veterinarian clinic as a surgical coordinator, providing low-cost veterinary care to pets and strays throughout the community.”

Here are the other Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center 2023 annual award winners who represented the center at the AFMC banquet. Congratulations to all of them for their dedication and outstanding performance in executing AFIMSC’s mission in 2023!

As an instructor at Desert Defender, the Air Force Security Forces Center’s Ground Combat Readiness Training Center at Fort Bliss, Texas, Senior Airman Miranda Alvarez provides advanced ground combat training skills to over 4,500 warfighters annually. Alvarez also fulfills the role of an Air Force combative instructor where she guides students with mentorships that boost resiliency, character development and leadership with an emphasis on life saving skills.

“Miranda is often seen as a mentor by those junior enlisted airmen that funnel through Desert Defender pre-deployment training based off her high knowledge of base defense instruction,” said Chief Master Sgt. Bradley Shova, AFSFC Det. 3 senior enlisted leader.
In 2023, Alvarez employed four unique capability-based equipment deployment kits, merged one-third of security force’s logistics detail components, instructed 781 students on capabilities of assets, prepared U.S. Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa for increased force protection posture and enhanced the chief master sergeant of the Air Force’s tour of Desert Defender by synchronizing the development of complex attack scenarios.
Alvarez also led over 1,000 Defenders with advanced ground combat training for joint force commanders while overseeing 18 critical tasks across 1,700 hours. She completed a 158-hour basic instructor course to apply lessons learned and institute personalized lesson plans for 12 cadre which upped advanced certifications by 10% and anchored 100% evaluation pass rate.
“Alvarez is a team player who continually tries to outwork her teammates,” Shova said. “Her work ethic outpaces even some of our seasoned NCOs and her willingness to continually learn new things in order to better herself and teammates is felt across the unit.”

As NCO in charge of readiness for the 772nd Enterprise Sourcing Squadron at Tyndall AFB, Florida, Counts filled the operating location’s senior enlisted leader role for three months while backfilling a section chief shortfall for eight months in 2023. She led more than 40 people, managing the team’s $350 million portfolio supporting the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, Pacific Air Forces, and continental U.S. research and development efforts.

“Tech. Sgt. Counts is very mission focused and mission capable,” said Senior Master Sgt. Latoya Mitchell, Counts’ former supervisor and current senior enlisted leader of 48th Contracting Squadron, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England. “She is known for asking critical questions that open discussions to help streamline processes.”

In 2023, Counts’ expertise solidified the completion of a $15 million small business innovative research project that enabled the Air Force’s first 3D printed facility for future design and printing. She also assisted with the execution of a $49 million tactical radio purchase to mitigate a communication loss for NATO joint forces and teamed with the 325th Contracting Squadron to assist in planning the units' first field exercise in six years. 

“She has always believed one’s personal growth influences their professional growth, which is why she always advocates for personal development within herself and her teams,” Mitchell added.

As first sergeant for the Desert Defender Ground Combat Readiness Training Center, Fort Bliss, Texas, Lawson is the principal advisor to the Air Force Security Forces Center Det. 3 commander for all matters affecting 230 total force military, civilian personnel and their families. He mentors 6,000 students annually and is a first responder to all student issues, coordinating with home base leadership across 68 locations.

“Master Sgt. Lawson is an Airman’s Airman. He has ability to not only balance his personal life, but also balance the lives of the many Airmen he serves,” said Chief Master Sgt. Bradley Shova, AFSFC Det. 3 senior enlisted leader. “His dedication to the members of his unit has accelerated the morale and development of his team.”

Lawson is known for his support for others’ physical and mental health. In 2023, he directed rapid response for a gunshot victim where he ensured life-saving care, provided continued emotional support, and executed follow-up trauma response for 250 student bystanders. He also credited with advancing the special forces enterprise resilience by halting over 40 mental health emergencies.

“Lawson continually tries to ensure all Airmen come first, whether that is as easy as handing out popsicles on the blistering hot El Paso days or engaging with local resources that greatly impact unit members in times of need,” Shova added.

As deputy branch chief for military design and construction at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Heindl directs the design and execution of the Pacific Air Forces' construction and family housing project portfolio. He manages MILCON planning and design funds, facilitates issue resolution and monitors spending. 

“Max is a deep thinker and always looks for new ways to make things more efficient and effective,” said Col. Michael R. Staples, AFIMSC Det. 2 commander. “With his drive to continuously challenge and improve, he utilizes his experience from his previous assignments and pulls on innovative ideas to resolve issues we have with MILCON execution.” 

In 2023, Heindl pioneered a MILCON training guide, and established and organized a branch task tracker that consolidated requirements into a single location, ensuring accuracy with real-time delivery notifications through headquarters Air Force and Congress. After Typhoon Mawar, he spearheaded the reconstruction of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, by documenting and prioritizing damaged buildings, and enabling a program management office to execute the repair and recovery of infrastructure. 

Heindl also developed a comprehensive continuity binder for U.S. Special Operations Command Africa engineers, outlining critical processes, contacts and policies to provide the first consolidated manual for future Africa Force infrastructure requirements.

“With Max’s background in computer science, he has effectively utilized available programs to ensure we have full visibility on all tasks and complete them in a timely manner,” Staples said. “His leadership ensured success of the National Defense Strategy's number one priority at nine PACAF installations.”
There’s no doubt his efforts are not only helping to modernize but continuously improve the Air Force mission, Staples added.

As a team lead within the 338th Enterprise Sourcing Squadron Mission Support Flight at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, Kathryn Ryan provides acquisition expertise for the development and execution of base operational support contracts throughout Air Education and Training Command. 

“Kathryn puts 110% in everything she does and never backs down from a challenge. She sees the positivity and lessons to be learned from the challenge at hand which is inspiring for those who get to watch her in action,” said Beatrice Torres, 338th ESS Mission Support Flight chief. “Her actions inspire loyalty and admiration, creating a team that is not only successful but also united and resilient.” 

In 2023, Ryan stepped up as acting section chief, leading five people with a $1.4 billion BOS portfolio to sustain five AETC bases and negotiated a contract to save $35 million to sustain the Air Force’s largest pilot production base, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. She identified over 700 mission critical comments and unlawful requirements in the Maxwell Performance Work Statement and standardized the language for multiple acquisitions, streamlining the requirements development process. Kathryn also implemented the use of a new strategic management tool, providing training to 95 people with step-by-step guidance to increase compliance. 

“Kathryn is truly one of a kind. She’s a natural leader who genuinely cares about people and embodies a philosophy of unwavering support and selflessness,” Torres added.

As the program manager for the Counter-Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems training with the Air Force Security Forces Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Eugene Miller is the Air Force’s focal point and technical authority for the development and validation of C-sUAS material and courses.

“Miller’s impact is significant. He is considered the Department of the Air Force’s most knowledgeable person when it comes to C-sUAS training and his expertise influences everyone trained on C-sUAS skills,” said Patrick Wilson, chief of AFSFC’s Developmental Training Branch. 

In 2023, Miller authored the first counter drone job qualification standard, formalizing DAF training, operator and program management for all career fields and influencing 215 units and $350 million in electronic warfare systems. 

Miller also represented AFIMSC as the Air Force liaison to the Joint C-sUAS University where he developed three courses, 18 classes, 54 documents and 1,400 pages to train and qualify more than 600 DoD system operators. He also led AFIMSC's first C-sUAS mobile training team to qualify eight JCU cadre on DAF C-sUAS systems. 

“Miller is meticulous, diligent and one of the most professional people I have ever worked with,” Wilson added.