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174th Fighter Wing Commander Presents ‘Hometown Hero Awards’

HANCOCK FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, SYRACUSE, NY – Members of the New York Air National Guard received recognition for their service in a combat zone on Feb. 9 during the 174th Attack Wing Hometown Heroes Salute ceremony for all units on the Air National Guard Base in Syracuse.

Some 135 members of the wing received a Hometown Heroes Salute at the ceremony.

Recognized Airmen for supporting overseas contingency operations as part of the 174th Attack Wing included:

Tech. Sgt. Aaron Andrus from Pennellville, N.Y.

Master Sgt. Aaron Shaffer from Parish, N.Y.

Tech. Sgt. Branagan Glennen from Oswego, N.Y.

Senior Airman Devin Wells from West Monroe, N.Y.

Tech. Sgt. Jason Ditro from West Monroe, N.Y.

Master Sgt. Jason Renda from Williamstown, N.Y.

Senior Airman Jeremy Ciesla from Fulton, N.Y.

Chief Master Sgt. John Ditro from West Monroe, N.Y.

Senior Airman Joshua Ditro from West Monroe, N.Y.

Tech. Sgt. Keith Kinsey from Mexico, N.Y.

Tech. Sgt. Kelley House from Central Square, N.Y.

Senior Airman Kyle Wisner from Central Square, N.Y.

Lt. Col. Nicholas Lotito from Central Square, N.Y.

Master Sgt. Shawn Hopkins from Central Square, N.Y.

Tech. Sgt. Steven Boni from Oswego, N.Y.

Senior Airman Steven Pardee from Hastings, N.Y.

The Hometown Heroes program recognizes Airmen who mobilized and supported contingency operations such as Operations Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan for 30 or more consecutive days either serving overseas or here in the U.S. since Sept. 11, 2001.

“We recognize the tremendous service and sacrifice of our Airmen and their families supporting the wide variety of missions here in the wing,” said Col. Greg Semmel, 174th Attack Wing Commander. “Our Hometown Heroes salute is a great opportunity to thank them for that service.”

Airmen receive a framed letter from the Chief of the National Guard Bureau containing a Hometown Heroes salute challenge coin. Children of the deployed Airmen will also receive unique Hometown Heroes Salute dog tags.

The Air National Guard initiated the program in August 2008 to celebrate and honor our Airmen, families, communities and those special supporters who have significantly contributed to supporting our Airmen and the Air National Guard mission.

The 174th Attack Wing was established in 1947 as the first Air National Guard flying unit in New York State. It currently flies the state-of-the-art MQ-9 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The wing conducts its combat mission as well as its multiple training missions, including operating the Field Training Detachment which trains all Air Force personnel on MQ-9 maintenance procedures, and the Formal Training Unit which provides initial qualification training to MQ-9 aircrews.

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