A night with the stars

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- The 436th Airlift Wing had “A night with the stars” to recognize its “best of the best” military and civilian personnel during the 2016 Annual Awards Banquet held Feb. 3, 2017, at the Rollins Center, Dover Downs Hotel and Casino, Dover, Delaware.

Mimicking the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, fellow team Dover members, honorary commanders, local civic leaders, community partners, sponsors, friends and family totaling over 400, came out to support 50 nominees, competing in their respective categories.

Planning for this year’s banquet started back in August 2016, according to Capt. Jessica Swaim, 436th Medical Group, Readiness Flight commander and chairperson for the annual awards banquet committee.

Countless hours of planning by the committee and numerous sponsors played a big part in the success of the annual awards by providing gift cards, gift bags, paid tickets for airmen, mementos, decorations, and banquet programs.

“Special thanks to Bill Hare with Always Advertising for the glass mementos, and to First Command, Wilmington University, Surgical Associates and High 5 Hospitality for donating paid tables for Airmen,” said Swaim. “Other sponsors were Dover Federal Credit Union, United Church, Mission BBQ, Little Caesars, Sam's Club, Walmart, Jen-Mor Florist, Carmike Cinemas, Macy's, The Orthopaedic Spine Center, Company Grade Officer Group, Dover Spouses' Group, Dover Top 3, Dover Chief's Group, Dover First Sergeant's Council, 5/6 Council, Air Force Sergeants Association and the Military Officers Association of America.”

Spending most of the day visiting with members of Team Dover, Daniel Sitterly, Acting Assistant Secretary of Air Force Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Pentagon, Washington, D.C., was the guest speaker for the evening.

“Thank you for the opportunity today to meet with Team Dover, and frankly, I am rendered speechless,” said Sitterly. “Tonight we’re here to honor and to celebrate what I would like to call the 2016 ambassadors of Team Dover, the total force team.”

Commenting on his visit to numerous work centers on base, he noted that Dover has some special kind of magic emanating from airmen.

“While this ceremony gives us the opportunity to recognize the organization, tonight’s ceremony is a little special because it gives us the opportunity to recognize the individuals and those that stand above the rest of us, but let there be no doubt that they stand above the rest of us, on the shoulders of great mentors old and young alike,” Sitterly stated.

After his speech, Sitterly, Col. Ethan Griffin, 436th Airlift Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Sarah Sparks, 436th AW command chief, took center stage to present the coveted eagle trophies to the following individuals:

Airman Service Award of the Year: Staff Sgt. Chad Hardesty, 436th Mission Support Group.

Volunteer Service Award of the Year: Ms. Elizabeth Welcome, 436th Airlift Wing, Wing Staff Agency.

Civilian Employee of the Year Category One: Mr. Eric Brandt, 436th Operations Group.

Civilian Employee of the Year Category Two: Mr. Andrew Dale, 436th MSG

Civilian Employee of the Year Category Three: Ms. Carmel-Ann Feliciani, 436th Airlift Wing Staff.

Key Spouse of the Year: Ms. Sarah Addy, 436th Maintenance Group

Honor Guard Member of the Year: Staff Sgt. Robert Ingham, 436th Mission Support Group

First Sergeant of the Year: Master Sgt. Elden Pelletier, 436th Medical Group

Team of the Year: 436th Aerial Port Squadron Combat Readiness & Resources, 436th Maintenance Group

Airman of the Year: Senior Airman Angie Alfonso, 436th Mission Support Group

Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Tech. Sgt. Victor Carmona, 436th Medical Group

Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Senior Master Sgt. Jason Barnshaw, 436th Mission Support Group

Junior Company Grade Officer of the Year: 1st Lt. Maris Glenn, 436th Operations Group

Senior Company Grade Officer of the Year: Capt. Matthew Pastewait, 436th Medical Group

Before Griffin made his closing remarks, Sparks presented Dover AFB’s version of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Sitterly, an Air Mobility Command Museum Foundation commemorative brick in his name, scheduled to be placed in the museum’s Commemorative Park at a later date.