NEWS | April 8, 2022

Ceremony held to recognize wing’s Outstanding Airmen of the Year

By Staff Sgt. Tim Sencindiver 167th Airlift Wing

The 167th Airlift Wing recognized four of its top Airmen for their accomplishments during an Outstanding Airmen of the Year (OAY) award ceremony at the 167th base dining facility, Martinsburg, W.Va., April 2.

The annual OAY award program recognizes Airmen who excel at job performance, leadership, and personal achievement.

“Every year the bar gets set higher and higher, make no mistake about it, the 167th truly competes at the highest level,” said 167th Airlift Wing Command Chief Master Sergeant Troy Brawner. “We have some amazing folks here and it’s a shame we can only pick four.”

Chief Brawner emphasized being prompt in the award process for aspiring award seekers.

“If you are an individual out there and you want to compete to be an OAY recipient, let your supervisor know early in the year,” said Brawner, “It takes a barrage of different things, from your education, to volunteering, and even the way you work both on and off base.”

The following individuals were recognized during the event.

Senior Airman Emma Van Horn, assigned to the 167th Communications Flight, was honored as Outstanding Airman of the Year at the wing and state for the Airman category. She has established herself as a driven technical expert by her peers and supervisors while attending college full-time maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

Tech Sgt. Joshua Webber, assigned to the 167th headquarters staff, was awarded Outstanding Airman of the Year for both wing and state in the non-commissioned officer category. His recruiting efforts helped the wing surpass its manning goals for fiscal year 2021, in spite of COVID-19 restrictions.

Master Sgt. Matthew Wilson, assigned to the 167th Security Forces Squadron, was honored as Outstanding Airman of the Year for the senior non-commissioned officer category. Wilson was lauded for his leadership skills, management of assets and coordination with allied personnel while deployed which improved security operations and directly led to mission success.

Master Sgt. Jacob Heavner, assigned to the 167th Mission Support Group, was awarded Outstanding Airman of the Year for both the wing and state in the First Sergeant category. He served as first sergeant while deployed to Al Dhafra Air Base. He supported four medical evacuations, relayed 13 Red Cross messages, and initiated 10 emergency leaves.

Chief Master Sgt. (retired) Robert Gossard was also awarded during the ceremony for the Volunteer of The Year award which was presented to him for selflessly contributing more than 400 work hours in 2021 through leading and mentoring the 167th student flight.