Osan engineer’s win USFK awards

by Staff Sgt. Sergio A. Gamboa, 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Stripes Korea

OSANA AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Two Osan engineers received 2018 United States Forces Korea Civilian of the Year awards during a ceremony at Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea, Sept. 13, 2018.

Huichong Ko, budget analyst, and Kihwi So, civil engineer, with the 51st Civil Engineer Squadron were Team Osan winners of the Korean National Supervisor of the Year, and So took home the Korean National Professional of the Year, respectively.

A total of 63 nominations representing civilian employees from all commands as well as assigned, attached or tenant units of USFK, and other Department of Defense activities in the Republic of Korea were submitted for the 2018 USFK Civilian of the Year awards.

“I was surprised because I did not expect it, but I was glad that I was recognized,” said Ko.

Ko’s accomplishments included executing and supporting the largest 51st Fighter Wing operations and maintenance budget, overseeing projects for over 1,400 facilities. Those responsibilities and dedication to her team led her to receive the award.

“Ms. Ko is highly regarded as a leader among Korean Nationals, U.S. Military and civilian members in the squadron and across the base,” said Capt. Michael Gund, commander of the 51st CES Installation Management flight. “Her superb charisma motivates her team to run on all cylinders, tackling budget tasks with ease and never missing a deadline or target.”

“I've never expected this award, and I'm so happy to be a member of the 51st CES operation engineering, the heart of the operations flight,” said So.

While on the operations flight, So’s responsibilities of identifying deficiencies, preparing project designs, and providing civil engineering expertise to all Osan transportation network and airfield pavements systems and expertise earned him professional of the year.

So’s nomination letter highlighted his motivation to seek new and effective ways to identify and fund requirements. It also stated that he inspires those around him by representing himself as the epitome of innovation, exceptional work performance and drive for professional development.

Without their teams behind them every step of the way, Ko and So say they couldn’t have won their awards.

“To me, this award was given to 51st CES flights and resource team members who work with me,” said Ko. “I am grateful and proud of my teammates who are busy working hard every day.”

Photo Caption:

U.S. Army Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, Commander, United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/United States Forces Korea, center, stands with the 2018 USFK Civilian of the Year award winners at Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea, Sept. 13, 2018. A total of 63 nominations representing civilian employees from all commands as well as assigned, attached or tenant units of USFK, and other Department of Defense activities in South Korea were submitted for the 2018 USFK Civilian of the Year awards. Two of the winners were from the 51st Civil Engineer Squadron at Osan Air Base, South Korea.

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