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Former EPLO named AFRES Citizen Airman of Year | Chicago Composite Squadron

Former EPLO named AFRES Citizen Airman of Year

Photos Former EPLO named AFRES Citizen Airman of the Year

Col. (ret.) Norman Anderson, a recently retired Air Forces Northern Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer and his civilian employer were awarded the Air Force Reserve Citizen Airman and Employer of the Year for 2013.

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Former EPLO named AFRES Citizen Airman of Year

Posted 7/15/2013   Updated 7/15/2013
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by Mary McHale
AFNORTH Public Affairs

7/15/2013 - TYNDALL AIR FOCE BASE, Fla. – A recently retired Air Forces Northern Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer and his civilian employer were awarded the Air Force Reserve Citizen Airman and Employer of the Year for 2013.

Col. (ret.) Norman Anderson, served as the EPLO to New Mexico but was primarily recognized for his distinctive service during a military deployment to Kabul, Afghanistan. His employer, Sandia National Laboratories, was recognized for its outstanding support of Anderson, in both expeditiously preparing him for the deployment and supporting him and his family during it.

In Afghanistan, Anderson served as the Ministry of Defense Senior Advisor to the Afghanistan National Army (ANA) General Staff Chief of Logistics. In that capacity he performed combat advisor duties with Afghan leadership and forces in a hostile environment on a daily basis. It was an environment that included serving as convoy commander on 131 missions under threat of improvised explosive devices, small-arms fire and suicide bombers as he traveled more than 1300 miles to enhance the ANA’s logistics capability.

Additionally, according to his nomination, he “significantly contributed to the counter insurgency strategy by improving the ANA Directorate for Logistics and was NATO’s and the U.S. Army’s lead advisor and implementer of ANA logistics policy critical to ANA sustainment.”

His employer, Sandia, was equally key to his successful deployment. His human relations department ensured a smooth transition to his rapid activation and subsequent deployment. They also provided support to his spouse and sent him care packages often. They have in fact, created a “Military Support Committee” to support veterans and Guard/Reserve members through this committee.

“Sandia is really a great corporation but it’s really the people who make it so special,”

Anderson’s wife, Ellen, said as she recounted the number of times her Sandia coworkers also provided support.

“They were all always here to help and for that I am forever grateful,” she said.
She recalled she also spoke with Rodney Simmons, AFNSEP director and Rick Bacon, AFNSEP Regional Director for FEMA Region 6 on several occasions and found their constant support extremely helpful as well.

“He may have not been working directly for us, but as a dedicated American, he stepped up to a challenging deployment,” Bacon said. “It was all we could do to ensure the health and welfare of his family back here in the States during what can be an understandably difficult time for a family.”

I am very honored to be chosen as the co-recipient along with Sandia for the 2013 Citizen Airman Employer of the Year Award,” Anderson said. “It is a tribute to the outstanding support Sandia has provided me, my wife family and the many other SNL military members. I am pleased that this is an opportunity for Sandia to be recognized at a national level for all they do to support our military personnel and their families. Of course I am hugely appreciative of my military unit and Command that they felt I was deserving of such an award and took the time and required effort to submit an award package for me. My
great thanks to Rick bacon and Rod Simmons from AFNSEP.”

The awards will be presented at the annual Air Force Association Symposium in September.

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