Fairchild Airman takes home ATA award

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Sean Campbell
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
The Airlift/Tanker Association holds a Symposium and Technology Exposition every year to bring together men and women from all over the world including Air Force leaders, industry professionals and mobility Airmen past and present.

The Airlift/Tanker Association is dedicated to ensuring American military forces continue to have the air mobility capability required to implement U.S. national security strategy. The association has chapters and members throughout the world with membership including active duty, reserve and retired military personnel, both officer and enlisted, as well as civilian and industrial supporters.

During this event they also recognize mobility Airmen from across the Air Force for their outstanding achievements.

One of those Airmen was Capt. Deborah “Xena” Gaddis, 509th Weapons Squadron academics assistant director of operations, who was honored with the A/TA Young Leadership Award for demonstrating outstanding leadership.

“I was able to get this award because of the opportunities the 509th has offered that I wouldn’t have had otherwise,” Gaddis said. “We’re able to teach a wide array of Airmen and participate in high visibility activities that advance combat employment.”

The A/TA Young Leadership Award is presented to 12 Airmen each year to either noncommissioned officers or company grade officers that have the potential to become leaders within the Air Mobility community.

"Xena is an outstanding officer and one of our best 'Instructor of Instructors,” said Lt. Col. Jeremy "GRIMM" Gould, 509th Weapons Squadron commander. “As the academic officer, she shapes and leads the KC-135 Weapons Instructor Course syllabus execution, ensuring that the course and syllabus remains relevant. Her work guarantees graduates are prepared to plan and execute our Nation's future conflicts around the globe."

On a daily basis, Gaddis ensures that the 509th WS syllabus is executed properly for the students of the 509th, and manages everything pertaining to students.

“The 509th revolves around the students: teaching, flying, debriefs, exams, ground evaluations,” Gaddis said. “Everything is for the students.”

Also on the 509th team is Tech. Sgt. Ben Davis, NCOIC of the mission support flight, who was selected to represent Air Combat Command for the 2017 A/TA Young Leadership Award.

“Davis is an exemplary NCO and he is one of the most passionate people I’ve met about his work and students,” Gaddis said. “Currently he and a few others are working on developing an advanced instructor’s course for boom operators in addition to his normal duties. He’s the kind of NCO you can ask to do anything and you don’t have to check on him; you know it’s going to get done, and done well.”

The 509th WPS is one of Fairchild’s many