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435th FTS and 12th OSS bring home AETC Top Ops Awards

Bill Monk, 12th Maintenance Directorate, waits to marshall the T-38C Talon piloted by Capt. Kevin Welsh, 435th Fighter Training Squadron, prior to take off at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Dec. 15, 2011.  The 12th Flying Training Wing sent a group of 13 pilots and maintainers and five T-38C Talons from Randolph to Tyndall to assist the 325th Fighter Wing in a training exercise.  (U.S. Air Force Photo by LIsa Norman)

Bill Monk, 12th Maintenance Directorate, waits to marshall the T-38C Talon piloted by Capt. Kevin Welsh, 435th Fighter Training Squadron, prior to take off at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Dec. 15, 2011. The 12th Flying Training Wing sent a group of 13 pilots and maintainers and five T-38C Talons from Randolph to Tyndall to assist the 325th Fighter Wing in a training exercise. (U.S. Air Force Photo by LIsa Norman)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- The 435th Fighter Training Squadron and 12th Operations Support Squadron were recognized as Air Education and Training Command Top Operations Squadrons for 2012.

"We can all be proud of their outstanding accomplishments," said Col. David Morrissey, commander of the 12th Operations Group. "The 12th Operations Group exists to forge the world's best remotely piloted aircraft pilots and sensor operators, fighter candidates and flight instructors. The 435th FTS is integral to that mission and sets the standard for the 12th Flying Training Wing and AETC. It doesn't happen without the world-class support provided by the 12th OSS. Both of these squadrons are shining examples of what the 12th OG does every day - Airpower's Blacksmith, forging aviators for our great nation."

The 435th FTS earned the title of Top Operations in the fighter category and went on to be named the overall Top Operations Squadron for all categories in all of AETC.

The 435th FTS, which conducts initial Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals instructor and student training, was honored for their seamless integration of 20 aircraft into their squadron and a 41 percent increase in flying following the consolidation of the IFF program in 2012.

Undeterred by the consolidation initiative and 30 percent of their officers deployed, the squadron went on to earn an "outstanding" rating during AETC's aircrew standardization and evaluation visit and an "excellent" rating during AETC's combined unit inspections. The 435th FTS also transitioned to a new syllabi hallway through the program to eliminate 54 sorties total and save $162,000 in the flying hour program.

"The 435 FTS is exceptionally honored to even be considered for these awards," said Lt. Col. Ki Jackson, 435th FTS commander.

"We recognize that no one organization earns such accolades by itself; multiple organizations contributed to these accomplishments, including the 12th FTW Maintenance Directorate and the 12th OSS, among others," he said. "The total force of active duty, reservists and civilian workforce provide a world-class combination in the 12th FTW and in the 435th FTS. We are humbled by these AETC honors."

The 12th OSS was named the AETC Top Operations Squadron in operations and training support category.

The 12th OSS is responsible for simulator training, scheduling, air traffic control, airfield management, flight records, registrar, weather, airspace management, international training and aircrew flight equipment for all 12th OG training.

During the award period the 12th OSS supported more than 38,000 flying hours and 27,000 sorties for five different squadrons, three unique aircraft and three airfields. Their air traffic control towers are the busiest in the Air Force with more than 220,000 flying operations per year. The towers were also recognized as Ray D. Harding ATC Facility of the Year. The hard work of the 12th OSS was also recognized with an "excellent" rating in the 2012 AETC's CUI.

"We are extremely humbled to be selected as the number one of 21 operations and training support squadrons in the command for 2012," said Lt. Col. David Nyikos, 12th OSS commander. "I'm very proud of the men and women of the 12th OSS. The award is a testament to their experience and professionalism shown each and every day."