By Gary Mitchell
CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — Cannon’s 27th Services Squadron recently was selected as the “best of the best” in Air Combat Command competition, despite being shorthanded throughout the competition year.
“Even with a large number of our squadron deployed in support of operations worldwide, we were still able to maintain the level of excellence in supporting our troops here at Cannon,” said Lt. Col. John Donovan, 27th Services Squadron commander.
The 2002 Maj. Gen. Eugene L. Eubank Services Award is presented to a services squadron demonstrating a high level of customer service and innovative programs.
Cannon was honored as the winner in the “small bases” category.
“We won this award because we have instituted major initiatives across the base that respond to our customers’ needs,” Donovan said. “We’re taking care of our customers. We do all those things to make life better for our customers here at Cannon Air Force Base.”
There are 16 installations in Air Combat Command, and approximately 10 of those installations are in the small base category, Air Force officials said.
The three finalists for the award included Cannon, Moody Air Force Base in Georgia and Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.
“The competition was very impressive, very competitive,” Donovan said. “They had to take the three top performers in ACC and split hairs to make the decision. Moody and Minot have good programs, too, but what put us over the top was having the strongest programs.”
Criteria evaluated during the competition including such areas as customer service, training, marketing, management, leadership, facilities and equipment, Donovan said.
In his nomination letter that was sent to services headquarters at ACC, Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, Col. Robert “Rowdy” Yates, commander of the 27th Fighter Wing, had high praise for the squadron’s men and women.
“The 27th Services Squadron’s hard work, dedication and contribution to the 27th Fighter Wing’s mission accomplishment were unsurpassed this year,” Yates said. “Our services folks do a tremendous job serving Cannon’s people, day in and day out, and provide unparalleled support for the world’s most lethal war fighters.”
The individual success of a couple of the squadron’s members contributed to the unit’s overall success, as well.
First Lt. Coleen Foust was selected as ACC services company grade officer of the year, and Senior Master Sgt. Remonia McKiver was named ACC services senior non-commissioned officer of the year — the two top individual services awards in Air Combat Command, Donovan said.
“(Foust) is a super troop,” he said. “And (McKiver) is an outstanding superintendent for our troops. They were competing against individuals throughout ACC, and they were selected as the best of the best.”
The nomination for the award highlighted squadron triumphs, such as Cannon’s food service program, which was handpicked as one of four ACC bases to compete in the 2003 Food Service Excellence evaluation, the squadron’s first Food and Car Show, a 100 percent response time for funeral services from the undermanned Cannon Honor Guard, and the squadron’s ability to maintain No. 1 status financially in ACC, while investing $350,000 in equipment.
By winning the Eubank award, the squadron now will move on to compete for the best services squadron in the entire U.S. Air Force.