Crew chiefs to receive new award at Cannon

By Darrell Todd Maurina

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — Airmen serving in the 27th Fighter Wing have a new award they can win — the “Proud Falcon Dedicated Crew Chief of the Quarter.”
On Friday, Col. Robert “Rowdy” Yates, presented the first award to Staff Sgt. Steven Johnston before a cheering audience of airmen from the 428th, 522nd, 523rd, and 524th Aircraft Maintenance Units.
Johnston, dedicated crew chief for the 524th AMU, wins an incentive flight and a three-day pass along with his assistant dedicated crew chief, Airman First Class Montrell Bryant, plus a number of gifts from eight area businesses. The unit receives the traveling trophy for the next three months and distinctive covers for the winning aircraft.
Yates said he’d been wanting to begin an award program for the dedicated crew chiefs since coming to Cannon.
“It’s something that had always been there at any base I’ve been at,” Yates told the assembled airmen. “It’s very important that we take the time to honor the best of the best. We can always continue to improve, we can always continue to become better.”
Johnston, who has been in the Air Force seven years, said he was proud to receive the award and amazed by the number of gifts given by Clovis-area businesses. Johnston said he considered joining other branches of the military but was glad he joined the Air Force where he can help make sure the planes are ready to fly.
“I’ve always been fascinated by jets,” Johnston said. “It’s fun; it’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.”