Eastern Air Defense Sector Lieutenant Jason Cole is Honor Graduate at Air Force Training Course

Whitesboro Resident also Receives Yukla 27 Award Recognizing Service Before Self

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2nd Lt. Jason Cole

ROME, NY (10/04/2011)(readMedia)-- 2nd Lt. Jason Cole of Whitesboro graduated first in his class at the U.S. Air Force's Undergraduate Air Battle Manager Training Course at Tyndall AFB, Fla. on Sept. 21. A New York Air National Guardsmen, Lt. Cole is assigned to the Eastern Air Defense Sector.

The nine-month ABM course trains Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard officers in the command and control of aircraft and weapon systems. In addition to earning top graduate honors, Lt. Cole also was recognized as a Distinguished Graduate and received the prestigious Yukla 27 Award. Presented to the student in each class who embodies the concept of service before self, the Yukla 27 recipient is chosen by the students and course instructors. The award takes its name from the call sign of an AWACS plane that crashed at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska in 1995.

"On behalf of our entire unit, I want to congratulate Lt. Cole on his outstanding performance," said Col. John P. Bartholf, EADS Commander. "Earning distinguished graduate honors at an ABM class is a noteworthy accomplishment in and of itself. Graduating first and receiving the Yukla 27 award is truly remarkable."

The Eastern Air Defense Sector is headquartered at Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome. Staffed by active-duty New York Air National Guardsmen and a Canadian Forces detachment, the unit supports the North American Aerospace Defense Command's (NORAD) integrated warning and attack assessment missions and the U.S. Northern Command's (USNORTHCOM) homeland defense mission. EADS is responsible for air sovereignty and counter-air operations over the eastern United States and directs a variety of assets to defend one million square miles of land and sea.