Meet Your Team of the Year

Aircraft loadmasters are the Air Force’s 2013 Team of the Year. “We are honored to have the opportunity to highlight these airmen who embody the core values of our USAF: integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do,” said AFA President Craig McKinley in a release. Each year, the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force leads a group of major command-level command chiefs that selects a career field for the honor and then identifies individual members within that field for special recognition. This year, those members are: MSgt. Erin L. Manley, a loadmaster superintendent with the 15th Airlift Squadron at JB Charleston, S.C.; TSgt. Russell J. Cantrell, an instructor supervisor with the 344th Training Squadron at JBSA-Lackland, Tex.; SSgt. Nicholas J. Rizzo, an MC-130H loadmaster with the 15th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla.; SrA. Katherine D. Mackey of Air Force Reserve Command’s 68th AS at Lackland; and SrA. Nicholas E. Cunningham, a C-130J instructor loadmaster with the 37th AS at Ramstein AB, Germany. Loadmasters play “an essential role in the United States Air Force by providing detailed support to every mission we fly,” said AFA Board Chairman George Muellner. “We thank them for their exceptional service,” he said. Loadmasters supervise the loading and unloading of cargo, vehicles, and personnel on a variety of aircraft.