A tactical air control party airman with the Air National Guard’s 148th Air Support Operations Squadron at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., SSgt. John C. Norris is one of the Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2011. Norris served as a TACP member on three deployments before leaving active duty to enroll full-time in college and join the Air Guard. Before a recent deployment to Afghanistan, he created realistic training scenarios that increased TACP situational awareness and response times and successfully indoctrinated inexperienced airmen for combat operations. On deployment, he charged into enemy fire, rescuing two wounded soldiers, and then directed lethal fire from two Apache helicopters while ordering evacuation of the wounded. His Army commander has nominated him for a Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device. He also controlled 120 close air support strikes and conducted more than 100 combat patrols, receiving the Army Commendation Medal with Valor Device. Norris’ home of record is Oklahoma City. He represents the ANG among this year’s outstanding airmen. The Daily Report is shining the spotlight on each OAY. Also featured to date: SrA. Nora L. Limjoco, SrA. Daniel T. Skidmore, SrA. Ulla B. Stromberg, and SrA. Raven S. Taylor.
The Pentagon awarded a contract worth over $2 billion for the next batch of F-35 engines to Pratt & Whitney on June 5. The deal for Lot 17 F135 engines, totaling $2.02 billion, is expected to be completed by December 2025.