Kadena Sergeant Is Top Enlisted Aviator

The Air Force has named SSgt. Jon Ouchi, an airborne cryptologic operator with Air Combat Command’s 390th Intelligence Squadron at Kadena AB, Japan, as its top enlisted aviator for 2008, making him the recipient of the annual Henry “Red” Erwin award. Ouchi, who has served in the Air Force for seven years, noted the “integral role” crypto operators aboard RC-135 Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft play in current operations in Southwest Asia. During a 2008 deployment to the US Central Command area of operations, Ouchi helped locate 182 targets and initiated 22 assaults. However, Ouchi believes that helping a junior enlisted airman get his next stripe was “his most gratifying accomplishment” last year. Lt. Col. Kevin Coyne, 390th IS commander, believes Ouchi, who says “he was just doing his job” on his 178-day deployment, is “representative of this great group of young Americans that are making a difference for their country and their Air Force.” He added that Ouchi “is a part of the next greatest generation.” (Kadena report by 1st Lt. Bryan Bouchard)