51st OSS wins Complex of the Year 2017

by Senior Airman Kelsey Tucker
Osan Air Base

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Pacific Air Forces and the U.S. Air Force recognized the 51st Operations Support Squadron airfield operations flight as the Airfield Operations Flight Complex of the Year for 2017.

The award was presented to all sections within the flight – radar approach control, control tower, and airfield management – for their work in supporting nearly 20 flying organizations from on and off base throughout the year.

“It’s a functional award, based on innovation, developing Airmen, and unusual or unique air traffic,” said Chief Master Sgt. Kendell Clark, 51st Operations Group superintendent. “For us, the airspace is extremely complex and there are a lot of flying agencies around Osan Air Base. Including Osan itself, there are about 10 airports, and we facilitate each of those.”

The size and complexity of the airspace around Osan isn’t the only challenge Airmen of the 51st OSS are faced with constantly. Another huge limiting factor is the turnover rate, as most Airmen spend only one year in a short tour assignment. Despite these drawbacks, the Airmen were able to showcase their capability through events such as typhoon evacuations, combat search and rescue exercises and more than 500 distinguished visitor visits –including the President of the United States.

“It shows that we’re doing a good job of what we do - maintaining a safe, effective, efficient airfield environment,” said Tech. Sgt. David Gutierrez, 51st OSS airfield management operations noncommissioned officer in charge. “We all work together as a team, and that shows. This award is not something that one section within the flight can win on their own.”

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