SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
The 50th Operations Group hosted the 14th annual Maj. Gen. Jimmey R. Morrell awards banquet at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, May 23.
The banquet was held in honor of Morrell, a former 2nd Space Wing commander at Falcon (now Schriever) AFB from 1988 to 1990, and recognizes any military or civil service employee assigned to the 50th OG epitomizing the qualities Morrell displayed during his career of vision, commitment to excellence, the highest possible standards and expectations, a ceaseless drive to develop and mentor future leaders, and the unwavering courage needed to shape the future.
The winners for each category are as follows:
Airman Category – Senior Airman Adrianna Barelas – 4th Space Operations Squadron
Noncommissioned Officer Category – Tech. Sgt. Sarah Chapman – 2nd Space Operations Squadron
Senior Noncommissioned Officer Category – Master Sgt. Stephanie Kau – 1st Space Operations Squadron
Company Grade Officer Category – Capt. Joshua Harnisch – 2nd SOPS
Civilian Category – Daniel Devargas – 2nd SOPS
The Morrell banquet and events planning responsibility rotates through squadrons within the 50th OG every year. This year, Master Sgt. Nicholas Banks, 1st Space Operations Squadron mission assurance superintendent and Master Sgt. Vicente Garren, 4th Space Operations Squadron mobile operations flight chief, led the event planning that began in February.
Barelas who won the airman category said she felt shocked and honored at the same time because she works with amazing Airmen every day.
“I feel very appreciative that the hard work I put in day in and day out doesn’t go unnoticed,” she said. “Just being able to get the opportunity to be nominated meant a lot to me, but knowing that my wingmen, especially my system administrator coworkers, can look up to me and trust me makes me want to work 10 times harder for them. If it weren’t for them and my family, I wouldn’t be able to show what we are all about, and for that I am very grateful.”
Banks said even though the event was a large undertaking, the support of Col. Laurel Walsh, 50th OG commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Steven Whitworth, 50th OG superintendent, made it all possible.
“They supported us through everything providing the guidance and vision, letting us run with our ideas and trusting that we were going to put on a great golf tournament and banquet, made everything much easier,” Banks said.
Approximately 230 guests attended the banquet with Col. Jack Fischer, 50th Space Wing vice commander as guest speaker for this year's event.
“Our committee thought the event went very well,” he said. “The event oversold and our biggest concern, the day of, was having enough food for everyone. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed Col. Jack Fischer, 50th Space Wing vice commander’s presentation. This was confirmed by the line of Airmen who stayed after the event to get his autograph.”
Fischer shared a video detailing his time leading up to and at the International Space Station, giving the crowd an inside perspective on the life of an astronaut, covering what kind of scientific experiments they conduct at the space station, and some of the methods used for things like exercising, grooming, eating, etc. finally tying it to the 50th OG and 50th SW’s missions.
“We actually had to cut off ticket sales the morning of the event, and bring in chairs for attendees to sit in after we ran out of table space, it was definitely a packed house,” Banks said.