ROME, NEW YORK (02/17/2023) A Herndon, Virginia resident who serves in the New York Air National Guard is in the running to be named the Airman of the Year for the 100,000-member Air National Guard.
Senior Airman Dhruva Poluru was named Airman of the Year for the 5,880- member New York Air National Guard. He then went on the wing the competition among Air Guard members from the northeastern states.
Poluru is assigned to the 222nd Command and Control Squadron, which is headquartered in Rome, New York.
The squadron's mission is to provide Airmen to work full-time and part-time with the National Reconnaissance Office. This is the agency which runs America's space surveillance satellites.
The 222nd is a component of the New York Air National Guard's 107th Attack Wing, which also operates the MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft and overseas an air operations support operations squadron as well.
Poluru, who joined the Air National Guard in 2019, is responsible for tracking the orbits of American satellites, along with those of other nations to ensure security of U.S. space systems.
He serves as a mission crew chief, responsible for orbital threat analysis and for the command and control of over 85 commercial data providers and orbital analysts who contribute to the United States Space Force's space protection and space defense missions.
Poluru also serves as the primary government representative to a team of 190 military, contractor, and international analysts geographically dispersed which provide space domain awareness support to the Commander, United States Space Command.
He has also been involved in meetings with Brazilian military officials to discuss space information sharing as part of the New York National Guard's State Partnership Program agreement with the Brazilian military.
"We are extremely proud of Senior Airman Dhruva Poluru, for representing the 107th Attack Wing and winning the highly competitive 2023 New York Air National Guard Outstanding Airman of the Year," said Col. Andrew Carlson, the commander of the 107th Attack Wing.
"Poluru is highly involved in the innovative commercial space domain awareness sector, which is a key enabler of our State Partnership Program," Carlson said.
Poluru graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in 2022. After attending undergraduate school in Buffalo, he moved to Herndon while assigned to the 222d Command and Control Squadron.
The New York Air National Guard is the largest Air Guard component in the United States. New York's Air Guard also flies ski-equipped LC-130 Hercules cargo planes which fly to the South Pole, massive C-17 Globemaster III transports, and search and rescue planes and helicopters. The New York Air Guard also includes the Eastern Air Defense Sector which is responsible for the defense of American airspace east of the Mississippi and also includes two detachments focused on air defense of Washington, D.C.