349 FSS take home multiple 2022 AFRC A1 Awards

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Brady Penn
  • 349 AMW Public Affairs

Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 349th Force Support Squadron, recognized a few of their outstanding Airmen over the February Unit Training Assembly at Travis Air Force Base, California, after they were recently awarded the 2022 Air Force Reserve Command Force Development Award. In addition to the group award Tech. Sgt. James Fotakis, was also named the 2022 Force Support Reserve Component Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year.

Both Awards are given based on superior achievement in the development of Airmen who thoroughly understand the Air Force mission, organization, and doctrine. The Force Development award recognizes outstanding success in fostering critical thinking, encouraging exploration, and creative problem solving. 

“Airmen want to maintain readiness and want to progress their careers,” said Senior Master Sgt. Heather Craig, Chief of Education and Training for the 349th Air Mobility Wing. “We have a very high readiness percentage because we take an interest in every Airman in the wing, whether they just returned from basic military training or have been with the wing for years.

Joining in being recognized, this senior NCO from the 349 FSS was also recognized for his efforts in helping Airmen from the wing maintain their readiness and guiding them in their careers.

“I was surprised when I heard that I had been nominated,” said Fotakis. “I work with so many great people and I didn’t expect to be singled out for my work in Al Udeid.”

Fotakis was delayed for six months during 2022 and helped to reinvigorate the educational program at Al Udeid. He recognized a shortfall in the educational program and by taking initiative made further education available to over 4,000 deployed Airmen. 

“We see Airmen through every step of their career, from out processing for basic training, heading out on a deployment, or coming home,” said Craig. “It’s an incredibly rewarding part of the wing to work in and I could see us potentially winning again next year because everyone on the team has that kind of passion.”