Col. Michael Meyer, the commander of the 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, was all smiles as he showed off the top 30 of the more than 600 airmen Friday night at Fort Gordon.
The men and women were honored at the Air Force Annual Awards Banquet for abilities, including technical and leadership skills, along with service contributions to fellow airmen and the Air Force as a whole, Meyer said.
Members of the 480th ISR keep track of events in the Middle East and Asia and provide intelligence for troops on the ground there – and for the nation’s top policymakers.
“When I see these people work, it is a tremendous feeling,” Meyer said. “They are an outstanding group.”
The keynote speaker, Vera Stewart, the president and CEO of Augusta-based food company Very Vera, has a program called “Treats for Troops,” which sends pound cakes to deployed soldiers at a discounted price.
Meyer said this program, and Stewart’s work with the airmen’s spouses, made her an ideal local contributor to speak at the event.
“We all have had mentors along the way,” he said. “She is a good example of one of those people.”
Stewart used a “kitchen twist” throughout her speech that highlighted her journey to becoming a business owner.
“What are the different ingredients?” she said. “I want to give them some food for thought.”
Meyer said there were only about 100 people at the event because a lot of the airmen are deployed overseas. He also said the Air Force community is growing at Fort Gordon because leaders are recognizing the importance of what his people do.
“The Air Force presence at Fort Gordon is in growth mode,” he said. “And I couldn’t be prouder of what we are accomplishing.”