Twenty-fourth Air Force recognizes top performers

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The 24th Air Force Quarterly Awards ceremony was held Feb. 8 here, Maj. Gen. Richard Webber, 24th AF commander, presented the awards.

"Being declared to have Initial Operational Capability is a big deal," said General Webber, "and these cyber warriors helped make that happen."

The five awards went to the top performing company grade officer, senior non-commissioned officer, non-commissioned officer, Airman, and non-supervisor, category two civilian of last year's fourth quarter, covering activities performed from October through December 2009.

First Lt. Michael Piersimoni, a crew commander for the 624th Operations Center, Lackland AFB, Texas, was one of only two unit members coined during the Air Force Space Command Inspector General inspection to determine whether 24th AF was ready to be declared IOC. The lieutenant planned and executed the transition from the 624th OC's former location at Barksdale AFB, La., and directed the execution of 18 Network Defense Tasking Messages.

Master Sgt. Terry Ellington, a network effects planner for the Combat Plans Division of the 624th OC, lead an initiative to utilize two anti-virus scripts that reduced risk to personal computers by 85 percent, and helped to correct an Air Force-wide problem. She crafted 17 courses of action in response to adversary tactics, which countered a major threat, and she provided guidance for an e-tool that cut distribution time from 209 days to a matter of seconds.

Staff Sgt. Jeffrey McCabe, also a network effects planner for the Combat Plans Division of the 624th OC, secured 425 gateways, 650,000 personal computers, and 300,000 users during the award period. The non-commissioned officer identified a flaw in the thumb-drive ban policy, and wrote a technical plan which corrected the flaw Air Force-wide, protecting the network from a viable threat. He also created a strategy to automate patches on the Air Force Recruiting Service network which will help protect 1,500 recruiter computers.

Senior Airman Cody Pavitt, a client support technician for the 24th AF A6 Directorate, was named a "Professional Performer" by the AFSPC/IG team. Airman Pavitt migrated 101 users and 30 systems to the Air Force Network and invested dozens of off-duty hours preceded the deadline by a month. She also tracked and resolved 241 trouble tickets despite being in a one-deep position.

Tony Steele, the 24th AF chief of exercise plans established the 24th AF exercise program, forming the FY10 strategic plan which includes supporting 13 major exercises and 41 planning events. He also led the Air Force support to Department of Defense's number one cyber exercise Bulwark Defender 2010 handling 68 simulated attacks leading to improved AF and DoD Net defense practices.