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NCO earns crew chief of the year award

62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Published: 11:02AM January 28th, 2016

Staff Sergeant Nickolas Johnson, 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron C-17 Globemaster flying crew chief, has been awarded the squadron’s Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Thomas N. Barnes Crew Chief of the Year Award for 2015.

The award is given annually to Airmen that the Air Force Association recognizes with the most significant contribution to the mission. Base-level military and civil service aircraft crew chiefs, regardless of Air Force Specialty Code, are eligible for this award.

According to the criteria, the award is based on an individual’s ability to maintain the highest levels of readiness and efficiency to achieve excellence in all maintenance areas. The Cheney, Wash., native said he was honored to receive the award.

“I am very honored to have won the Chief Barnes award for the 62nd Airlift Wing,” Johnson said. “We have more than 600 qualified Airmen to be submitted for this award and to win it proves how dedicated I am at doing my job.”

Johnson has been in the Air Force for 10 years and has worked in the maintenance career field his entire enlistment.

“(Johnson) is just a hard worker,” said Tech Sgt. Mark Perez, 62nd AMXS aerospace propulsion technician and Johnson’s supervisor. “He is very dedicated to the mission and sets the bar for all Airmen in our squadron.”

Because of Johnson’s hard work and dedication, he was recently promoted to flying crew chief.

Aircraft may land at locations that do not have the proper tools or equipment for maintenance. In a situation such as this, the crew chief working on the aircraft needs to be highly skilled and knowledgeable in the maintenance of the C-17.

“It is my job to keep the aircraft flying,” Johnson said. “If aircraft are grounded, then the mission can’t get done.”

Johnson said he was notified of this accomplishment in his morning roll call meeting and was presented the award by his officer in charge.

“I honestly did not expect to win this award,” Johnson said. “Everyone who was submitted for this award was equally deserving. Now I am considered the best of the best and will continue to strive to be the person and Airman I can be.”

Johnson will move on to compete at the MAJCOM level, were the winner will be notified by Air Force Association and presented an award at the AFA National Convention held in Washington, D.C., in September.