Wing recognizes Outstanding Airmen of the Year

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle
  • 167th Airlift Wing

A ceremony to honor the 167th Airlift Wing’s four Outstanding Airmen of the Year was held in the base auditorium, March 7.

Airman 1st Class Pujaba Chudasama, Staff Sgt. William Wagstaff, Senior Master Sgt. Charles Moore and Master Sgt. James Keller, were recognized in the Airman, Non-Commissioned Officer, Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, and First Sergeant categories, respectively.

The annual Outstanding Airman of the Year awards program seeks to recognize Airmen based on superior leadership, job performance and personal achievements. Each group within the wing selects Airmen to compete at the wing level and the wing winners then compete at the state level.

Chudasama, a maintenance management analyst for the 167th Maintenance Operations Flight, was also selected as the West Virginia Air National Guard’s Outstanding Airman of the year and the recipient of the James Kemp McClaughlin trophy, annually presented to the top Airman in the state. Chudasama is studying biology at Shepherd University. She has volunteered her time at a school in India, at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center and for the Red Cross. As a maintenance management analyst, she reviewed 488 maintenance records contributing to an overall 95% data integrity rate.

Wagstaff, an all-source intelligence analyst for the 167th Operations Support Squadron, recently graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Science in economics, minoring in statistics and data analytics. He served 45 days with the West Virginia National Guard’s Sustainment Task Force during the COVID-19 pandemic forecasting and tracking personal protective equipment requirements throughout the state.

Moore, an assistant operations officer and aircrew training non-commissioned officer for the 167th Operations Support Squadron, was selected as the senior non-commissioned officer for the wing and also took honors for senior NCO category at the state level. He planned the wing’s last super drill, led the first West Virginia Air National Guard virtual unit training assembly for the 167th OSS, and developed a new work schedule for his squadron to keep more than 150 aircrew mission ready during the pandemic.

Keller is the First Sergeant for the 167th Security Forces Squadron. He is credited with providing direct assistance to an Airman during a life crisis and maintaining active communication with more than 70 members of his squadron. Keller has volunteered with the Martinsburg STARBASE and the Berkeley County Backpack program.

Col. Marty Timko, 167th Airlift Wing commander, encouraged the Airmen to start mentoring Airmen to take their places on the stage next year.

“I am very proud of the four of you,” said Col. Marty Timko, 167th Airlift Wing commander. “Don’t let up. The bar has been set and I know the four of you have set a very high one and that now becomes the new standard going forward.”