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Offutt officer wins AF ISR award

Capt. Stephen, 55th Operations Group commander's action group chief, was selected as the Air Force's Outstanding Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Officer Instructor of the Year for 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Capt. Stephen, 55th Operations Group commander's action group chief, was selected as the Air Force's Outstanding Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Officer Instructor of the Year for 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

Capt. Stephen, 55th Operations Group commander's action group chief, was recently selected as the Air Force’s Outstanding Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Officer Instructor of the Year for 2016.

Stephen was nominated for the award based on his many accomplishments during that time as the 338th Combat Training Squadron chief of training.

Most notably, he directed Air Combat Command’s largest formal training unit program. As the youngest chief of training, he led 156 instructors that drove 10 thousand training events for 32 aircrew positions. He executed the multinational training program that graduated 27 Royal Air Force students and led to the first ISR combat sorties conducted by the RAF in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Combined, the 338th CTS graduated 628 U.S. and RAF students.

Stephen also directed formal training units in support of combat operations that contributed to 413 training events directly related to 137 Operation Freedom’s Sentinel missions. These efforts led to the certification of 82 linguists and contributed to a National Security Agency Director's Trophy unit award.

Additionally, his efforts increased the 338 CTS’ training capacity by 61 percent, which helped erase a three-year training backlog for certified linguists.

“Capt. Stephen’s outstanding leadership and training acumen was key in preparing ISR professionals throughout the ISR community to carry out our global missions,” said Col. Joseph Santucci, 55th Operations Group commander. “He saved the Air Force millions of dollars by executing and improving ISR training programs across the board. I couldn’t think of a better officer to be selected for the award, which is considered one of the highest honors in the intelligence community.”

Stephen said he was humbled to receive the award and said it wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of his entire team.

“I don’t believe the award is mine alone,” Stephen said. “In reality, this award reflects and honors the efforts of a fantastic 338 CTS instructor team. I am just fortunate to be the face of the team this time.”