Airman honored with AF International Affairs Excellence Award
By Tech. Sgt. Phyllis Hanson, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
/ Published May 26, 2010
WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- An Air Force master sergeant was recognized May 24 for his role in helping advance the capabilities of the newly-formed Afghan National Army Air Corps.
Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley presented Master Sgt. Cameron Rogers with the Air Force International Affairs Excellence Award during a ceremony held in his honor at the Pentagon.
Sergeant Rogers, the Air Force District of Washington's command aircraft maintenance manager, received this award for his service on a year-long deployment with the Combined Air Power Transition Force in Kabul, Afghanistan.
"The award is very timely," said Secretary Donley. "Building partnerships is certainly a priority for our Air Force."
Sergeant Rogers "enabled our Afghanistan partners to succeed in restoring the confidence of Afghan airmen as they begin to provide security and stability for their own nation," Secretary Donley said. This work is important and "does have consequences for the security of Afghanistan and for the success of the U.S. and coalition mission in this important region," he added.
As a mentor to the ANAAC and Air University, Sergeant Rogers drew upon his UH-1N helicopter program manager experience and aircraft maintenance skills. His efforts resulted in more than 2,500 sorties encompassing ground attack, airlift and medical evacuation while ferrying more than 16,000 passengers and 144,000 pounds of cargo. He worked with the Afghans maintenance crews in support of their Mi-17 and Mi-35 helicopter fleets.
"This is definitely not something I expected 20 years ago before I joined the Air Force," Sergeant Rogers said. "I come from a small Iowa town, and it's thanks to the Air Force I've been able to travel to different parts of the world and make a lot of good friends.
"I have a lot of Afghan friends now that I still keep in contact with and I do miss a lot," he said. "It's a great honor to be accepting this award. I'm speechless. But, I appreciate it."
Established last year, the annual Air Force International Affairs Excellence Award honors outstanding and innovative contributions to international affairs. The award recognizes one Air Force member judged to be most effective in building, sustaining, expanding and guiding enduring international relationships. Sergeant Rogers is the second recipient of the award.