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Nellis Airman wins air traffic control award

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- A Nellis officer from the 57th Operations Support Squadron was presented the Col. Derrel L. Dempsey Officer of the Year Award at the 57th Wing stand-up meeting July 13.

Capt. James Anderson was selected among nine Air Force officers competing for the award.

"When I first found out about the award, I was excited," said Captain Anderson, airfield operations flight operations officer.

The award is named in honor of Colonel Dempsey, a retired Air Force member whose contributions to air traffic control are highly recognized.

The captain said his success in achieving the award was partly due to his time served in Balad Air Base, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from January through May.

During his deployment, Captain Anderson was responsible for the world's busiest single-runway airfield and provided air traffic control services for more than one-third of Iraq. He ensured the safe movement of more than 27,000 aircraft operations per month to five major operating airfields in four countries.

"I could not have asked for a better operations officer," said Maj. Michael Grogan, 57th Operations Support Squadron Airfield Operations Flight commander. "Captain Anderson has the maturity of a 20-year veteran, having been prior enlisted, coupled with the talent and drive to lead people while managing a fierce operations tempo.

"He did it while deployed as he ran the busiest single-runway operation in the Department of Defense, as well as here at Nellis as he masterfully oversaw all operations issues in support of the busiest air traffic control radar unit in the Air Force."

"My favorite part of my job is being around the people. There are about 140 people in our squadron, and I get to work with everyone from airman basic to the commander," said the Air Force veteran.

"Unlike some jobs, I get to see the results of all my hard work. "Whenever a Red Flag is complete, I can breath a sigh of relief knowing I did my part in the Air Force today," he added.

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