The award triad: dedication, hard work and selflessness!

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Keenan Berry
  • 509th Bomb Wing public Affairs
Air Force Global Strike Command recently announced its 2013 Airmen of the Year, and among them was one of Whiteman's finest.

Tech. Sgt. Christopher Kitts, 509th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment quality assurance, was recognized as the Global Strike NCO of the Year for his outstanding achievements over the course of the year.

"I feel humbled and honored to receive this," Kitts said. "This award is not only for me, but for my career field, aircrew flight equipment."

Kitts's job performance and community involvement are just two ingredients contributing to his success in receiving the award.

He guided 26 NCOs and Airman through 148 errors found within the flight equipment, led COPE NORTH AFE, altered 1.6K-sq.-ft. shop consisting of 253 pilots and saved the Air Force $798K. Kitts also led the wing POW/MIA run, gathering 640 participants from 26 units, honoring 83K+ POW/MIA.

Aside from being an outstanding Airman, Kitts is inspired every day he walks across the office threshold. When it comes to the mission, complacency is not his "friend."

"I enjoy knowing aircrew members are able to see their families at the end of the day," Kitts said. "My job is to make sure aircrew fight equipment is correctly inspected the first time. Aircrew members do not receive a second chance at life if the flight equipment doesn't work as planned. I take a personal pride in myself to learn everything possible there is to know about my job and teach others to do the same."

Kitts has served 13 proud years in the U.S. Air Force.

He spent time at two other duty stations, Shaw AFB, South Carolina and Andersen AFB, Guam. He deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Throughout his career, Kitts has learned some valuable lessons that helped him grow into the Airman he is today.

"There are times that you win and times that you learn," Kitts said. "We all learn from our mistakes, it is up to you to change that loss into something positive. I've read leadership and management books from time to time and they've helped me take my losses and change them to something positive."

Kitts applied his dedication and performance along with these lessons to produce an effort recognized by AFGSC.

He offers advice to younger Airmen around the Air Force who strive to reach the "standard of excellence" he sets before them.
"Everyone has the opportunity to succeed in life," Kitts said. "The future is yours; take advantage of every opportunity that you get and seek to better you whether at your job, community, involvement or education."

Kitts's supervisor expressed a few words in regards to his outstanding achievement.

"I am extremely proud of Tech. Sgt. Kitts," said Capt. Aaron Timmermann, 509th OSS flight commander. "Not only was he named the AFGSC NCO of the Year, but the mentorship he has provided to the Airmen within AFE and the 509th BW shows his dedication to the Air Force mission. His influential leadership and ability to deliberately develop the people around him cemented a new standard with AFE that will have a continuing positive effect for years!"

Kitts said he would like to thank his wife Tonia, his commanders and supervisors throughout his career for always pushing him to do his best at everything.