Three New York Air National Guardsman at EADS Recognized for Outstanding Performance

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ROME, N.Y. (05/29/2018) The 224th Air Defense Group recently presented Air Force Commendation Medals to three New York Air National Guardsmen.

Staff Sgt. Michael Nelson, Rome. A Security Forces journeyman with the 224th Support Squadron, Nelson designed perimeter warning signs banning unmanned aerial vehicle fly-overs, which the National Guard Bureau recognized as a benchmark product. Nelson also instructed more than 100 hours of upgrade training and maintained more than 30 training records without a single discrepancy. Other notable achievements included writing and issuing Unmanned Aircraft System competency cards and volunteering for an after-hours, no-notice Inspector General Air Force Evaluation alert force evaluation.

Staff Sgt. Matthew Grinnell, Rome. A member of the 224th Support Squadron's civil engineering section, Grinnell received the Commendation Medal for spearheading a $90,000 environmental system upgrade of the unit's computer network and installing a new automation system on the operations floor. Other achievements included instituting a refrigerant management program required by new environment regulations, ensuring more than 770 pounds of hazardous material were tracked and disposed of properly.

Senior Airman Michael Szewil, Port Leyden. A cyber systems technician with the 224th Support Squadron, Szewil was recognized for installing computer equipment that enabled the Rome facility and its detachment in Herndon, Virginia to have access to the same network. Szewil also developed a smart database for more than 680 information circuits, significantly improving technician response time. Other achievements included installing 30 new computer switches as part of the National Guard Bureau's computer network modernization project, which improved network reliability by 75 percent

The Eastern Air Defense Sector is a North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) headquarters unit located at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome, New York. Responsible for the air defense of the eastern United States, EADS is primarily manned by New York Air National Guardsmen from the 224th Air Defense Group, which is composed of the 224th Air Defense Squadron and the 224th Support Squadron. Other personnel assigned to EADS include a Canadian Forces detachment, Army and Navy liaison officers, federal civilians and contractors, and two detachments of New York Air National Guardsmen located in the National Capital Region.

For more information about the New York Air National Guard, visit For more information on the 224th Air Defense Group and the Eastern Air Defense Sector, visit