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News > 28th OWS: Most outstanding - Forecasters bring Fawbush-Miller Award back to Shaw
28th OWS: Most outstanding - Forecasters bring Fawbush-Miller Award back to Shaw

Posted 6/15/2006   Updated 6/16/2006 Email story   Print story


by Tech. Sgt. Kevin Williams
20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

6/15/2006 - SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- The winners of the Air Force Weather 2005 Annual Weather Awards have been announced and the 28th Operational Weather Squadron took the Fawbush-Miller Award as the Outstanding Operational Weather Squadron for the entire Air Force. 

Col. John Murphy, acting director of the Air Force Weather Agency, said he was honored to announce the winners and proud of the incredible contributions to Air Force, Army, Special Operations Forces, joint and combined missions in 2005. 

Lt. Col. Steve DeSordi, 28th OWS commander, said he is proud to have this award back at Shaw. 

“We like to say we re-captured it because we lost it for a year,” he said. “Our folks are given a huge responsibility forecasting the weather for Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s very challenging and difficult because there is very little observational data in that area.” 

The 28th OWS provides weather forecasts in two areas of responsibility spanning 5 million square miles and three continents. They not only provide important information in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, they also assist in operation in the southeast United States. 

Their forecasts assist commanders at stateside bases in making evacuation and logistical decisions by providing them with valuable information on hurricanes and other weather conditions. 

They delivered more than 100 briefings for search and rescue flights from New Orleans disaster areas after Hurricane Katrina hit to help determine the best way to rescue storm victims stranded in their homes by flood waters from the storm and damaged levees. 

“We went through eight tropical storms last year, five hurricanes and three storms that weren’t hurricane strength that crossed our area or made direct landfall and created all that damage (on the gulf coast),” Col. DeSordi said. “It was no doubt a record-breaking hurricane season … the worst on record in the United States. The forecasts we provided helped save $25 billion worth of assets, about 100,000 DoD personnel and evacuate more than 300 aircraft.” 

This award not only means a lot to the 28th OWS commander, the forecasters take a lot of pride in what they do. 

“(The award) is well deserved,” said Tech. Sgt. Tim Parkinson, 28th OWS forecaster. “This is the best training environment I’ve seen in my 12 years. Everybody on the floor helps each other out as far as making the best forecast. It’s the training and teamwork that really set us apart as one unit.” 

“We run like a well-oiled machine,” said Senior Airman Brett Stallings, 28th OWS forecaster. “Everybody communicates well. I had no doubt we were going to win it. I was surprised when we didn’t win it the year before.” 

“For me, it’s the enormous amount of responsibility the young Airmen getting right out of (technical) school. Here they are, providing forecasts that determine whether or not a combat mission takes place,” said 1st Lt. Todd Burch, 28th OWS deputy flight commander. “They have direct input into the missions. That’s a huge responsibility for our young Airman and a great opportunity as well.” 

This is the fourth time in five years the 28th OWS took the Fawbush-Miller Award for the Air Force and the fifth year in a row for winning the Air Combat Command award.

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