552nd ACW’s OPSEC program, NCO lauded

Maj. Miguel Valle III, left, and Master Sgt. Randy Hailer, members of the 552nd Air Control Wing’s Plans and Programs office, were recently lauded along with Maj. Jason Nelson, with the 2014 Air Combat Command OPSEC Organization Team of the Year Award. Sergeant Hailer also won the ACC OPSEC NCO of the Year Award and will compete for the Air Force-level award to be announced next month. (Air Force photo by Darren D. Heusel)

Maj. Miguel Valle III, left, and Master Sgt. Randy Hailer, members of the 552nd Air Control Wing’s Plans and Programs office, were recently lauded along with Maj. Jason Nelson, with the 2014 Air Combat Command OPSEC Organization Team of the Year Award. Sergeant Hailer also won the ACC OPSEC NCO of the Year Award and will compete for the Air Force-level award to be announced next month. (Air Force photo by Darren D. Heusel)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- An Air Combat Command team and noncommissioned officer from the 552nd Air Control Wing were recently recognized with the honor of both 2014 ACC OPSEC Organization Team of the Year and ACC OPSEC NCO of the Year.

Maj. Miguel Valle III, Maj. Jason Nelson and Master Sgt. Randy Hailer won the 2014 ACC OPSEC Organizational Team of the Year.  The award recognizes not just the accomplishments of the 552nd ACW's Plans and Programs team, but all of the OPSEC coordinators and each member of the wing for incorporating an OPSEC mindset every day into their overall mission.

Sergeant Hailer, current 552nd ACW Plans and Programs superintendent, additionally won the 2014 ACC OPSEC NCO of the Year Award in the individual category, and is up for the Air Force-level award, which should be announced next month.

"This award is a huge recognition for the 552nd ACW," said Sergeant Hailer, who will serve in the 552nd ACW Plans and Programs office until he transfers to RAF Mildenhall in the spring. "It shows every individual buys into OPSEC and incorporates it into their daily cross check."

"This award recognizes everyone's efforts and showcases the relationship between OPSEC and operational readiness," Sergeant Hailer added.

As the 552nd ACW OPSEC NCO program manager, Sergeant Hailer implemented revised training, and reinvigorated older training and education programs, making OPSEC his top priority. He revamped the OPSEC portion of the wing website, which allowed more wing members to use best OPSEC practices.

Sergeant Hailer worked with home station units, geographically separated units (GSUs), and on-base mission partners. In total, his weekly briefing and training of OPSEC best practices repeatedly reached an audience of more than 4,000 men and women across the 552nd ACW.

Despite all his efforts, Sergeant Hailer said he felt humbled to even have been nominated.

"I'm humbled to represent the 552nd ACW," Sergeant Hailer said. "To have ACC recognize the work that's happening here is quite an honor."

Sergeant Hailer's former supervisor is also proud of what her top-notch NCO and the team accomplished.

"Master Sergeant Hailer will downplay his role in earning this award, but he is 'Mr. OPSEC' for the 552nd ACW," said Lt. Col. Kelly Strong, former 552nd ACW Plans and Programs director. "He's an innovator whose steadfast and novel approach creates opportunities that improve the wing's OPSEC posture, which directly supports the wing commander's and wing's mission of delivering disciplined, combat-ready battle management and command and control to combatant commanders."

"Master Sergeant Hailer is as sharp a senior NCO as I've had the pleasure to work with and is highly deserving of this award," Colonel Strong added.