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Airmen Focus: A 'Leader' in every sense of the word

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Our people are our greatest asset; it underpins why we are the greatest Air Force in the world. How do I know? It's people like Senior Airman Andrew Guajardo.

Airman Guajardo, or Airman G, as most folks call him, is an Airfield Management Shift Lead assigned to the 45th Operations Support Squadron. Airman G takes great pride in taking care of assigned -- as well as transient -- aircrews and other airfield customers at the Airfield Operations section in Base Operations.

When you meet Airman G you are immediately met with a smile, no matter what he or his teammates might be in the middle of. As part of his daily duties, he conducts routine airfield construction checks, ensuring the safety and oversight of current airfield construction projects worth more than $5.1 million. His technical expertise was instrumental in developing an aircraft parking plan and coordinating aircrew transportation for both the Cocoa Beach and Titusville air shows.

In addition, as the only dual airfield certified Airman at Team Patrick-Cape, he helped alleviate a critical manning shortage at the Cape Skid Strip, which earned him an Air Force Achievement Medal. He also stepped up for a Dragon Warrior deployment exercise providing critical airfield presidential support expertise. His professionalism and dedication to duty impressed the U.S. Army South commander so much that he was coined for his efforts.

Within the OSS, he currently serves as Self Aid Buddy Care instructor, booster club treasurer, physical training leader, sports advisor and flag football coach.

In the local community, his volunteer efforts are second to none. He served as an Honor Flight escort, paying tribute to local World War II veterans as they departed to Washington, D.C., to see and tour the World War II Memorial (many for the first time).

Airman Guajardo also emphasized the importance of education to at-risk students when he spoke as a part of a team at the Horace Mann Academy in Rockledge.

Finally, he was recently named the 45th Operations Group Airman of the Year and the 2012 Air Force Space Command Airfield Management Airman of the Year.

For me and for every commander throughout the 45th Space Wing, Senior Airman Guajardo is a leader - in every sense of the word. To know that Airman G goes above and beyond each day while maintaining a family life at home with his wife, Precious, and 3-year-old son, Keoni, makes me truly proud.

I know for a fact there are many others around here just like this young man. And we couldn't be successful without them. Keep pushing, Sharks!