Air Guard recognizes NCOs for service, accomplishments

Stories by Senior Airman Joshua Horton, 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs and Master Sgt. Phil Speck, 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office

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Col. David Mounkes (left), commander of the 123rd Contingency Response Group, presents Chief Master Sgt. Scott A. Wanner, the group’s chief enlisted manager, with a certificate of retirement during a ceremony held at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., April 26, 2015. Wanner served in the active-duty Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard for more than 30 years. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Vicky Spesard)

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After more than three decades of service to the active-duty Air Force and Air National Guard, Chief Master Sgt. Scott A. Wanner was officially retired in a ceremony here April 25.

As the chief enlisted manager for the 123rd Contingency Response Group, Wanner’s responsibilities included advising the commander on enlisted force morale, welfare, training and utilization; and overseeing the needs of the group’s enlisted force.

“From day one, your military bearing and calm spirit have been an outstanding benefit to our group,” said Col. David J. Mounkes, the commander of the 123rd Contingency Response Group. “I want to personally thank you for the numerous meetings where we had to discuss the way ahead for the CRG, dealing with the day-to-day leadership challenges for which you always had wise and mature advice. It wasn’t always easy in a group with such a unique contingency airfield-opening mission, but you were always up for it.”

Wanner enlisted in the active-duty Air Force in July 1983 as an inventory management specialist. His first assignment with the 305th Supply Squadron provided exposure to contingency operations during the invasion of Grenada. His second assignment with the 10th Supply Squadron, Royal Air Force Alconbury Air Base, England, further enhanced his desire for emergency and contingency operations.

During this period, Wanner played a supporting role in multiple operations, including a bombing raid in Libya and numerous deployments augmenting both Civil Engineering Red Horse and Prime Beef squadrons. His next assignment brought him back to the United States with the 445th Supply and CE Squadrons at Altus Air Force Base, Okla. He was then deployed to Bateen Air Base, United Arab Emirates, in support of Operations Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. After returning home, Wanner was approved for a voluntary separation incentive and enlisted as an air transportation specialist with the Air Force Reserve’s 87th Aerial Port Squadron at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in September 1992.

During the next six years, Wanner applied for and trained in every aspect of his new career field. In September 1998, he left the 87th and enlisted with the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Aerial Port Squadron. By April of 2008, Wanner was promoted to the rank of chief master sergeant and assumed the position of squadron superintendent. Two years later, he accepted the position of chief enlisted manager with the newly formed 123rd Contingency Response Group.

During his time with the Kentucky Air Guard, Wanner has deployed to support both domestic and international missions, including Operations Noble Eagle, Iraqi Freedom, Southern Watch, and Deep Freeze; and relief efforts for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

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Col. Jeff Wilkinson, vice commander of the 123rd Airlift Wing, presents a certificate of recognition to Staff Sgt. Windy Wagner, chief of information protection, at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., Jan 8, 2015. Wagner was recognized for providing outstanding support to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in its execution of security clearance investigations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Staff Sgt. Windy Wagner has been recognized by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management for the outstanding support she provides to the Federal Investigative Services in the execution of security clearance background interviews.

Wagner is the Kentucky Air National Guard’s Chief of Information Protection. Her job is to ensure the security of information and monitor the implementation of Air Force information policies and programs for the 123rd Airlift Wing. As part of that work, she manages security background investigations for members of the wing.

To help OPM, Wagner assisted field agents in reserving locations on base that were private and comfortable in which to conduct national security background interviews, according to Col. Jeff Wilkinson, the wing’s vice commander. With more than 50 interviews being conducted each year, Wagner is constantly helping field agents complete their investigations, he added.

Wilkinson noted that Wagner often provides this assistance on her own time, above and beyond the requirements of her job description.

“These efforts directly enhance our overall national security posture by allowing these security interviews to be conducted in an expedient and professional manner,” said Scott Benson, special agent-in-charge of the OPM’s St. Louis Investigative Field Office.

Some of the interviews Wagner facilitated weren’t even for members of the Air Guard, but for personnel from other government agencies. To assist with those cases, Wagner conducted preliminary background checks so the personnel were cleared to enter the installation.

Wagner also has been key in ensuring that members whose open clearance investigations are about to expire get fast-tracked, saving OPM weeks of work that would otherwise need to be re-accomplished.

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