Sergeant finalist for Air Force Times Airman of the Year honor

Tech. Sgt. Brian Westington of the 381st Training Squadron instructs medical readiness students on the use of a field blood gas analyzer. (U.S. Air Force photo/Robert Fox).

Tech. Sgt. Brian Westington of the 381st Training Squadron instructs medical readiness students on the use of a field blood gas analyzer. (U.S. Air Force photo/Robert Fox).

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Tech. Sgt. Brian Westington is a man with many faces. 

His is a face that supplied hours of work to aid Hurricane Katrina victims. It's also one that manages about $14 million in assets as the supply custodian at the 381st Training Squadron's Medical Readiness Flight. And also one that saved lives and equipment from the wild fires that ravaged the region a year ago. 

Sergeant Westington was almost the face of this year's 2006 Air Force Times Airman of the Year, too. The sergeant was one of six finalists for the annual honor. 

"I was a little disappointed as anyone would be," he said, "But I was surprised that I made the finalist cut." 

He said he was notified June 21 that he was not the "winner" of the honor.
Even if he had won the award, he said it would have been his name in the paper, but his instructor team's award. 

"The instructor team made me look good," Sergeant Westington said. "We make each other look good. If it wasn't for the instructors, where would I be?" 

An example of how the instructor team made him look good is seen in the results of the work medics did after they were trained here. Sergeant Westington said more than 28,500 patients were transported to higher level medical facilities by those Airmen who spent time here training. 

"Knowing that we are making a difference is what drives our entire team to do what we do week in and week out," he said. 

Maj. Tammy St. Armand, a course supervisor for the 381st TRS, nominated Sergeant Westington for the award in April. 

"Tech. Sgt. Westington just doesn't practice core values, he lives them," she said in her nomination. 

He is the instructor supervisor for the Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility Course. He is also the training site supply custodian, responsible for maintaining about $14 million of equipment. 

Sergeant Westington is not only active duty Air Force, but also a part time 911 dispatcher for Comanche County, Okla., and a volunteer fire fighter in Fletcher, Okla. 

The Fletcher Volunteer Fire Department is responsible for approximately 50 square miles of northeast Comanche county, he said. Eighteen volunteers answer about 150 calls per year. Already this year they have responded to eight major wild fires. 

"He spent countless hours, weekends and nights combating the deadly Oklahoma grass plains fires that devastated Oklahoma last year," Major St. Armand said. "His efforts saved thousands of lives, livestock and millions of acres," 

When the medical readiness site was later in the path of another fire, Maj. St. Armand said he helped evacuate more than 100 students and secured more than $14 million of equipment and supplies. 

Sergeant Westington said he and his team and others at medical readiness site loaded 16 pallets with more than 20 tons of medical equipment in 36 hours when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. 

To see Sergeant Westington and the other finalists for the honor, go to www.militarycity.com. Scroll down and click on the "2006 Air Force Times Airman of the Year" link on the left side of the page.