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VAFB hosts annual awards ceremony

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Annual award recipients pose for a group photo after the 2013 annual awards Ceremony at the Pacific Coast Club here Thursday, Feb. 20. The annual awards banquet recognizes top performers among enlisted, officer and civilian personnel.(U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Shane Phipps)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Annual award recipients pose for a group photo after the 2013 annual awards Ceremony at the Pacific Coast Club here Thursday, Feb. 20. The annual awards banquet recognizes top performers among enlisted, officer and civilian personnel.(U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Shane Phipps)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Top-leadership recently recognized Airmen from around the installation during the annual awards ceremony here, Feb. 20.

The annual awards banquet recognizes top performers among enlisted, officer and civilian personnel, and out of numerous nominees, 29 individuals took home honors in their respective categories.

"I think awards ceremonies are great for awarding individuals and teams for their contributions to their respective missions," said Kimberly Grabelski, 614th Air and Space Operations Center senior analyst and civilian of the year, category II. "It also is important because it allows other members of the community to hear about the positive work being done around the base."

Winner of noncommissioned-officer of the year, Tech. Sgt. Steven Rutledge, 381st Training Group noncommissioned officer in-charge of training evaluation element, agrees acknowledgment from base leadership is essential to good morale.

"The ceremony is important because it recognizes the accomplishments of not just the winners but everyone who goes above and beyond," said Rutledge.

For those involved, simply being recognized by their most esteemed leaders makes all their hard-work worthwhile.

"After a demanding year supporting space operations, it feels great to not only be honored for my hard work but the contributions of my teammates, which led to my success," said Grabelski.

Looking back, Rutledge remains humble attributing his achievements to those involved in his career and personal life.

"It's important to remember that I would not have had such a successful year without all the friends, family, co-workers and supervisors who supported me along the way," said Rutledge.

The professionalism and dedication shown by the award winners made acknowledgement from base leadership an easy task.

"It is a privilege for me to serve alongside such talented officer, enlisted and civilian personnel, and I'm looking forward to continued success in 2014," said Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander. "To the winners - good luck at the next level and thank you for representing VAFB!"