18th FSS claims PACAF awards
KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- The 18th Force Support Squadron was recently recognized by Pacific Air Forces headquarters for their superior service.
Among the eight awards received by 18th FSS, the Curtis E. LeMay award is both a PACAF and an Air Force-level award.
"We're hoping this is our year (to win the LeMay award at the Air Force level again)," said Daniel Bell, 18th FSS deputy director. "I'm proud to say that at the Air Force level, we've (previously) won (the award) four times. No active FSS in the Air Force has won it more than four times."
The Curtis E. LeMay Award was first awarded in 1965. It started as an award for the best morale, welfare and recreation program in the Air Force and has evolved through the years to services and now force support.
"It is rewarding and exciting," Bell said in regards to winning the LeMay award. "It tells us that we are financially sound and that our customers like us."
The employees, who put the time and effort into the 18th FSS, are one way winning this achievement was possible.
"Their diligence and desire to take care of our customers, and doing the right thing makes us successful," Bell said.
Along with the PACAF-level Curtis E. LeMay Award, 18th FSS also earned the Civilian Personnel Program of the Year, the Professional Development Program of the Year, the Manpower and Organization Program of the Year and the Library Program of the Year awards.
The Arts and Crafts program of the Year award, Food Operations Program of the Year and the Gerrit D. Foster Jr. Outstanding Military Personnel Program of the Year were also awarded.
"The interesting part about the award process is that, as a base, we can only win a maximum of seven awards," Bell said. "We made the exception because the LeMay award doesn't count in that."
Bell emphasized the success of the 18th FSS is also because of their customers.
"We have multiple visitors who come to the island and visit Kadena facilities, so we are constantly striving to be the very best," Bell said. "We do a great job at customer service; we go out of our way for our customers, and we'll continue to take care of people ... it's what we do."
Bell added having customer feedback at a 92 percent approval rate is also another thing that helped them stand out above the rest.
"The attention to detail and giving the customers what they want, when they want it is what stood out more than anything else," Bell said.
18th FSS also has facilities unique to Okinawa, such as the Kadena Marina, due to the high demand for scuba diving and snorkeling certification classes.
The clubs also continue to provide great service. With customers being so actively involved in them, 18th FSS will build a new club in the near future, Bell explained.
With eight PACAF awards under their belt, 18th FSS strives to win the LeMay award at the Air Force level, and will know the results in the middle of March.
"Keep supporting us, keep coming into our facilities," Bell said. "We'll keep taking care of you and thank you for making us as successful as we are."