Syracuse resident named Airman of the Year by two Air National Guard commands

Five members of the Eastern Air Defense Sector (EADS) received six annual awards from the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region (CONR) and Air Forces Northern (AFNORTH). Located at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, CONR and AFNORTH each recognize annual award winners and administer a combined CONR-AFNORTH program as well.

Four New York Air National Guardsmen and one civilian employee at EADS won outstanding annual performer awards, while EADS was named CONR-AFNORTH's outstanding command and control (C2) unit for 2020.

"It's a remarkable achievement to win individual awards in organizations as large as CONR and AFNORTH and I congratulate our five winners on their outstanding accomplishments," said Col. Paul M. Bishop, EADS Commander. "I also want to congratulate everyone at EADS for the outstanding unit award. Despite the obstacles created by COVID-19, EADS conducted its around-the-clock mission defending the eastern United States without interruption. This is a direct result of the dedication and professionalism of our staff and I thank every Airman and civilian for their efforts during the past year."

Local recipients include:

New York Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Daritza Peguero, from Syracuse, N.Y., who won two Junior Enlisted Airman of the Year awards, one from AFNORTH and one from CONR.

A tracking technician with the 224th Air Defense Squadron (ADS), Peguero identified 104 potential threats during 14 temporary flight restrictions and another 4,000 potential threats while working 1,500 hours at her regular position. Peguero also completed her Master Social Worker license, a time management certification and earned high marks at Airman Leadership School.

The 224th ADG is composed of the 224th ADS and 224th SPTS, located in Rome, and Detachment 1 and Detachment 2 that serve in the Washington, D.C. area. The 224th ADG provides the forces to conduct the Eastern Air Defense Sector's (EADS) mission. Part of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the Sector is responsible for the air defense of the eastern U.S.

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

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