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Air Guardsman Wins Services Award
Sgt. Mark Olsen, 177FW/PA,
This is the first time a member of the New Jersey Air National Guard has ever won the prestigious award. In addition, he was the only Guardsman in the United States to receive an award in the competition.
This award is really recognition for all the Air Guardsmen that were deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom, said Tech. Sgt. Johnson, Food Services Assistant Shift Leader, 177th Services Flight.
The Air Force Services Individual Awards Program recognizes Services personnel in 19 individual categories and 20 services program areas who make outstanding contributions to the Air Force Services Program, which covers a variety of areas including: dining facilities, lodging, Morale, Recreation and Welfare, mortuary affairs and fitness.
Tech. Sgt. Johnson was activated to support Operation Iraqi Freedom, from Feb. 22 to Nov. 15, 2003. Upon arrival in the combat theatre, he assisted with the build up of two bases, the first being at a classified location 34 miles from the Iraqi border where he served as part of the 688-member 447th Air Expeditionary Group where he played a vital role in the conversion of a small commercial airport to fully operational forward staging base in just 18 days.
Following the invasion of Iraq, Tech. Sgt. Johnsons unit deployed to Camp Sather, Baghdad International Airport (formerly Saddam International Airport), where he was instrumental in the rapid build-up and sustainment of coalition and humanitarian airfield operations, as well as special operations and combat search and rescue forces.