Top enlisted selected for 2011
By Tech. Sgt. Mark Wyatt, 157th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 04, 2012
PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. -- The 157th Air Refueling Wing in December recognized four enlisted Airmen as the best in their category for 2011 in front of wing personel at the annual commander's call.
Senior Airman Ryan A. Weeks, an air transportation journeyman with the 157th Logistics Squadron was recognized as the Airman of the Year. Weeks is a full-time student at the University of New Hampshire studying to be a civil engineer. In addition, he is working to complete his associate degree with the Community College of the Air Force.
Weeks was recognized for administering self aid and buddy care after witnessing an accidental gunshot wound to the chest of a young adult. His calm demeanor was critical in providing immediate life saving attention that resulted in his life being saved.
During the first of his two deployments in 2011, Weeks was critical in the movement of more than 54,000 passengers and 1,400 tons of cargo while serving in Iraq supporting Operation New Dawn. Volunteering for a second deployment to Afghanistan, Weeks was responsible for the movement of more than 40 mine resistant all-terrain vehicles, $17.8 million of protective equipment and supported more than 4,000 airdrop bundles providing combat support to remote forward operating bases.
Staff Sgt. Ronald C. Letch, a financial management and comptroller journeyman with the 157th Force Support Squadron, was selected as the Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. Letch is actively involved in supporting the yellow ribbon reintegration program which assists New Hampshire's returning heroes from deployment.
Letch devised an "out of the box" solution to an antiquated National Guard Bureau instruction that is now the established standard.
In addition, Letch was responsible for computing over 2,000 travel claims which represented $1.36 million of disbursements to wing personnel. He also was responsible for implementing a finance share-point page that was recognized by his leadership as an "excellent user-friendly resource" for wing members that streamlines customer service.
Senior Master Sgt. Kimberly S. Urice, a computer systems planning and implementation journeyman with the 157th Force Support Squadron, was recognized as the Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. Urice recently completed her Community College of the Air Force degree as well as completing several certifications determined to be critical to current and future Air Force missions.
Urice is a community leader who assists those less fortunate by volunteering in community events such as the United Way Day of Caring and at local Head Start school aged programs.
Urice was responsible for researching and purchasing $145,000 in end-of-year funds for the wing that created a baseline information technology plan to govern information technology acquisition to support various units. She was also responsible for execution of a $3 million budget.
Lastly, Urice has been routinely selected by name to support the National Guard Bureau area managers as well as other organizations to get unit compliance inspection and operational readiness evaluation ready.
Master Sgt. Jeffrey J. Heik, from the 64th Air Refueling Squadron, was selected as the First Sgt. of the Year. Heik participated in several community projects, such as the fitness center refurbishment, the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action ceremony, Pease Kids Corps, Operation Santa, Pease Winter Carnival and holiday meal support for families of deployed members.
In addition, Heik served as a community leader at the Special Olympics and the United Way Day of Caring. He also coordinated the state Medal of Honor ceremony and the Home Town Heroes program.
Lastly, Heik completed two degrees from the Community College of the Air Force. He was also an active member of the base honor guard team, participating in numerous base ceremonies and veteran funerals.