Virginia Air National Guard Airman wins reserve component level award

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Bryan Myhr
  • 192nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
An Airman from the 192nd Fighter Wing, Virginia Air National Guard, is awarded the 2017 Aircrew Flight Equipment Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year, reserve component.

Tech. Sgt. Deandra Boone, 192nd AFE Flight technician, was presented the award on March 25, 2018, by Lt. Col. Philip Colomy, 192nd Operations Support Squadron commander, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. This followed her winning the 2017 AFE NCO of the Year at the Air National Guard and wing level.

“I have a passion for what I do,” said Boone. “I have really tried to become an expert in all the equipment.” 

An AFE NCO supervises and mentors Airmen on inspecting and maintaining flight equipment in direct support of the flying mission. From packing emergency items like parachutes and survival kits to maintaining regularly used items like flight helmets and oxygen masks, the attention to detail provided by AFE professionals could mean the difference between life and death.

“Her attention to detail, work ethic and ability to lead is beyond paramount,” said Master Sgt. Dewayne Parker, 192nd AFE Flight superintendent. “Excellence is not a singular act, it's a habit. You are what you repeatedly do.”

In a small brick building near the fighter squadron hangars, Airmen inspect and pack parachutes in a bright room with long polished wooden tables. A lot of the survival gear handled by AFE Airmen has to do with the close proximity of JBLE to the ocean. AFE technicians service rafts, life preservers and cold weather water survival suits.

“AFE is a job that’s really not noticed much, but we do play a big part in the mission,” said Boone. “I love it, I’ve been here for 11 years. The team here is awesome. It’s a lot of us working together as a whole.”

During the interview, Boone demonstrated how to inspect a harness assembly. She quickly spotted a knot which was tied incorrectly, called over the Airman that was working on it and advised him on the correct way.