445th AW 1st quarter CY 2023 award winners recognized

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  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Congratulations to the following 445th Airlift Wing 1st Quarter CY 2023 award winners;

CGO of the Quarter

Capt. Nathaniel G. Co­pen, 445th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron di­rector of operations, is the 445th Airlift Wing Com­pany Grade Officer of the Quarter. Copen orches­trated 46 training and operational missions, 60 sorties, completing over 141.4 flight hours, and ensuring accountability over a $2.5 million bud­get. He led the collabora­tion with five different AE squadrons and two weap­on systems, ensuring crit­ical training completion and mission readiness for 100 medical personnel. The captain bolstered Air Force medical operations with the coordination of next generation elec­tronic health records to Air Mobility Command’s surgeon general, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois and Air Force Research Labo­ratory development per­sonnel, preventing mis­haps. Copen performed as youth soccer coach, fostering growth and de­velopment of 20 children and ensuring life- skills needed were instilled and practiced. He volunteered 17 hours for a local min­istry to mentor over 25 members on coping and mental health awareness. His unique approach im­parted change and confi­dence, enabling growth.

SNCO of the Quarter

Senior Master Sgt. Sar­ah E. Katoski, 445th Aeromedical Staging Squadron NCO in charge, is the 445th Airlift Wing Senior NCO of the Quar­ter. Katowski deployed in support of Operations Spartan Shield/Enduring Sentinel where she led a 21-member team for Air Force Central Command’s only en route patient staging facility; transport­ing 514 patients and 172 AE missions. As the 4N Functional Manager and Senior Enlisted Leader for the area of respon­sibility’s largest medical group, she led 151 mem­bers and was essential to AFCENT Surgeon General Team of the Month win. Her leadership abilities synchronized 120 med­ics across two squadrons and increased emergency medical capabilities by 86%. Katoski overhauled the education and train­ing program, laying the foundation for a robust schedule comprised of 14 courses, two Ability To Survive and Operate Rodeos and 11 readiness skills. She assisted the host nation coordination cell with non-combatant evacuation operations that successfully emigrat­ed 550 Afghan evacuees in support of Operation Enduring Welcome.

NCO of the Quarter

Tech. Sgt. Nathaniel M. Pritchard, 445th Opera­tions Support Squadron SERE (Survival, Eva­sion, Resistance, and Es­cape) operations NCO in charge, is the 445th Airlift Wing NCO of the Quarter. Pritchard led a forward deployment to Jordan, providing personnel re­covery mission analysis to rescue forces, culmi­nating in a joint exercise validating emergency sig­naling and bridging train­ing gaps with U.S. coali­tion partners. Pritchard led 14 hours of planning and execution for the first ever, “Report and Locate” exercise for the 763rd Ex­peditionary Reconnais­sance Squadron. Tech. Sgt. Pritchard crushed 60 hours for his paramedic certification and six cred­it hours went towards his Bachelor of Science de­gree in fire science, secur­ing a spot on the dean’s list. His education initia­tive enabled him to pro­vide insight for casualty evacuation and personal recovery awareness for 17 members. The tech­nical sergeant focused on improving his leader­ship skills completing 26 hours of Leadership Gold and Becoming a Better Supervisor profession­al development courses while deployed.

Airman of the Quarter

Senior Airman Reuben J. Hershberger, 445th Security Forces Squad­ron fire team member, is the 445th Airlift Wing Air­man of the Quarter. Her­shberger was assigned as an assault team leader at Sage Eagle exercise in White Sands, New Mexi­co, where he led a 5-man fire team integrated with Army Special Forces; bol­stering war fighter skills and reinforcing Joint Tasks Force concepts. He developed current train­ing material with a sister service for the Counter small Unmanned Aircraft Systems program; his ef­forts led to being coined by the 35th Infantry Division commander. Hershberg­er completed a 40-hour hand-to-hand combatives instructor course, en­hancing unit capabilities and readiness with 21 techniques mastered. He dedicated 12 hours with the Airman’s Attic, sort­ing 250 items. Airman Hershberger was appoint­ed the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response representative, educating 378th Air Expeditionary Wing and Army Company and provided direct sup­port for two cases. He vol­unteered to be the home station representative and advocate for preven­tion.