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Air Force recognizes superior IO performers

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Tech. Sgt. Dwayne Martin, an information technology specialist with the 273rd Information Operations Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, was one of two Airmen from the Air Force Information Operations Center (AFIOC) recognized by the Air Force as being superior performers in the field of Information Operations (IO). 
     Sergeant Martin, a Texas Air National Guardsman, and Master Sgt. Luis Marquez, a 23rd Information Operations Squadron tactics development technician, were selected as the outstanding noncommissioned officers in IO in the reserve and the active duty categories, respectively. 
     "It's phenomenal that both our active duty and reserve component Airmen have been recognized at this level," said Col. David Toomey, AFIOC commander. "AFIOC has worked hand-in-hand with multiple Reserve organizations to establish expertise and continuity in the IO community. By highlighting both these Airmen and their missions, the Air Force has again recognized the value of total force integration to day to day Air Force operations."
     The annual Air Force IO Award Program conveys the highest honors available to Air Force IO professionals and provides an opportunity each year to recognize the active duty Air Force, Air Reserve Component and civilian personnel who have made significant contributions to IO functions and missions. 
     Sergeant Marquez's development of the 8th Air Force weaponization operations instructions and integration and deployment of network tactics to the Cyber war-fighter contributed to him being selected as outstanding active duty IO non-commissioned officer of the year. Although they do not work together directly, Sergeant Martin uses the tactics Sergeant Marquez creates in developing exercise scenarios. "We are very much a team and dependent on each other," said Sergeant Martin. 
     The Guardsman was selected as the outstanding reserve IO NCO for his extensive contributions to the planning, execution and assessment of the Bulwark Defender exercise, the Department of Defense's premier network-centric defensive exercise. "I feel it is great to win this award on a personal note," said Sergeant Martin. 
     "I am more proud of the fact my guard unit has only been working in IO since 2005 and this award shows not only the quality of personnel in my unit but also how well the active duty Air Force and guard can work together." Lt. Col. Marie Elliott, 273rd IOS commander, said she was proud of her whole squadron for the intense training it accomplished in preparation for Bulwark Defender 2008. "The Air National Guard provides continuity for the exercise." she said. "We trained Air National Guard, Air Force, Army, Air Force Reserves, Navy and Marines along with contractors from several organizations. "Sergeant Martin has been amazing as the point of contact for all these folks' training and preparation to conduct Bulwark Defender all over the world," Colonel Elliott continued. "In the three years that we have worked here, he became the expert immediately." (Tech. Sgt. Gregory Ripps contributed to this story.)