Surprise submission earns national award for AMXS commander

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Thomas Norris, 121st Air Refueling Wing Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Commander, gives a new recruit a tour of a KC-135 Stratotanker on Jan. 21, 2017 at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio. Lt. Col. Norris was recently awarded the 2017 Lieutenant General Leo Marquez Award of Maintenance Excellence for field grade officers for the Air National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Wendy Kuhn)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Thomas Norris, 121st Air Refueling Wing Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Commander, gives a new recruit a tour of a KC-135 Stratotanker on Jan. 21, 2017 at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio. Lt. Col. Norris was recently awarded the 2017 Lieutenant General Leo Marquez Award of Maintenance Excellence for field grade officers for the Air National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Wendy Kuhn)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Thomas Norris, 121st Air Refueling Wing Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Commander, gives a new recruit a tour of a KC-135 Stratotanker on Jan. 21, 2017 at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio. Lt. Col. Norris was recently awarded the 2017 Lieutenant General Leo Marquez Award of Maintenance Excellence for field grade officers for the Air National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Wendy Kuhn)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Thomas Norris, 121st Air Refueling Wing Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Commander, gives a new recruit a tour of a KC-135 Stratotanker on Jan. 21, 2017 at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio. Lt. Col. Norris was recently awarded the 2017 Lieutenant General Leo Marquez Award of Maintenance Excellence for field grade officers for the Air National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Wendy Kuhn)

Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio (Jan. 24, 2017) -- --

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Thomas Norris, 121st Air Refueling Wing Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Commander, was awarded the 2017 Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez Award of Maintenance Excellence for field grade officers for the Air National Guard on Jan. 11, 2017. The award is given for excellence in management to aircraft, munitions and missile maintenance personnel in the Air National Guard.

“Lt. Col. Norris didn't even know we submitted him and was very humbled by what he characterized as merely a reflection of what our people were able to accomplish -- maintainers, operators, and the support functions from our friends in Mission Support Group and the Comptroller Flight that made the deployment wheel turn,” said Lt. Col. Kenneth Kmetz, 121st ARW Maintenance Group Commander.

 

Norris enabled aircraft generation in-garrison and while deployed.  He also seized the opportunity to forward deploy, facilitating sortie generation at three bases in the area of responsibility within 10 days, while also reaching out to provide support to active duty units in the area who were in need, said Kmetz.

 

“Honestly, I’m very flattered and proud, and that comes from the people in my squadron,” said Norris. “Most of the things listed in the award were things that they did. I just work with great people.  It’s my job to clear obstacles to allow them to do their jobs and accomplish the mission.”