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16th CMS officer wins Gen. Lew Allen Award

Capt. Abigail Ruscetta (U.S. Air Force Photograph by Dylan Laurie)

Capt. Abigail Ruscetta (U.S. Air Force Photograph by Dylan Laurie)

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- A Hurlburt Field maintenance officer has been named the winner of the General Lew Allen, Jr., Trophy for 2006.

Capt. Abigail Ruscetta, 16th Component Maintenance Squadron operations officer, received the honor in recognition of her outstanding performance involved in aircraft sortie generation.

"It is wonderful to be recognized -- but I am just one person who has been very lucky to work with some extraordinary people every day," said Captain Ruscetta. "The award really is a reflection of my chain of command and the great people who have worked for me."

Captain Ruscetta contributes hard work and a busy year to her success at winning such a prestigious award.

She graduated from the Advanced Maintenance Munitions Officer Course, led the 4th Aircraft Maintenance Unit with an extremely strong leadership team, deployed to three different locations and raced for the Air Force at the Triathlon World Championships.

"I have had a wonderful year in maintenance," Captain Ruscetta said. "I think the combination of school, home-station efforts, deployment opportunities and fitness were a winning combination. I cannot emphasize enough that I represent about 400 phenomenal troops who did amazing work at home and deployed."

Although she has never won an Air Force-level award before, Captain Ruscetta is no stranger to outstanding achievements.

In 1999, she won the Leo Marquez Company Grade Officer Award for the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem, Germany, and last year won Air Force Material Command's Female Athlete of the Year Award.

According to officials at U.S. Air Force Head-quarters, the Lew Allen Trophy competition was extremely tough, as the operations tempo and personnel tempo have remained high throughout this entire year in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Noble Eagle and Iraqi Freedom.

"This award represents the entire 16th Maintenance Group and all of the amazing things this group has done over the last year," Captain Ruscetta said. "It showcased the 4th AMU troops at home and all of the deployed troops from the various units. Those guys and gals did all of the work, and I watched them make miracles happen everyday-sometimes in very tough situations...This MXG is on the go 24/7 and this award captures all of that hard work!"