Tuskegee Airman of the Week: June 28 to July 4
By Senior Airman Andria J. Allmond, 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 16, 2009
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq --
Airman 1st Class Jefferson Aguiar of the 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron is the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing's Tuskegee Airman of the Week for June 28-July 4.
"It is an honor for me to congratulate Airman Aguiar as our Tuskegee Airman of the week," said Brig. Gen. Craig Franklin, 332nd AEW commander, who presented Airman Aguiar with the award and a commander's coin during a ceremony here July 10.
Airman Aguiar, an expeditionary ground radar-systems apprentice, said he is honored to receive the award.
"It's like a surreal dream," said the St. Petersburg, Fla., native. "I was going up against other Airmen who are doing amazing things in the desert."
Airman Aguiar enabled air control for approximately 1,000 sorties by replacing a faulty radio frequency generator, bringing critical radar systems back to a fully mission capable status. He also isolated and responded to a $523,000 radar power failure and emergency shut-down, averting catastrophic damage to the air defense of Iraq.
Airman Aguiar, who is deployed here from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., also distributed 700 boxes of goods while working with the Kids of Iraq program and participated as a member of the JBB Honor Guard in eight wing and base level events.
"I would encourage Airmen to volunteer while they are here," he said. "We have time on our hands, so make that time count. Do something that is going to make you feel good, something that you've never done before and always wanted to do here at JBB. We have so many opportunities to help out."
Overall, Airman Aguiar attributes his success to the strength of his family back home and his unit leaders.
"My supervisors allowed me to do all these things," he said. "They are also the ones who find time in their busy schedules to recognize Airmen like me."
Airman Aguiar's supervisor, Chief Master Sgt. John Kubik, 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron chief enlisted manager, is proud to have him on the team.
"He has a great attitude when doing anything you ask of him," said Chief Kubik, who is also deployed here from Eglin AFB. "What sets him apart is how he goes about doing his job. His attitude is infectious."
The 332nd AEW Tuskegee Airman of the Week is open to Airmen in the ranks of E-1 to E-5, and is selected based on an Airman's on- and off-duty accomplishments.