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Patriotic Article
Military

By USAF SSgt. James M. Hodgman

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Airman Awarded 2009 Air Force Robbie Risner Award
(February 7, 2010)

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Capt. Candice Sperry performs an equipment check on an EC-130H Compass Call aircraft Feb. 1, 2010 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. Captain Sperry was recently awarded the 2009 Air Force Robbie Risner Award for being the top weapons officer in the Air Force. Captain Sperry is with the 41st Electronic Combat Squadron.
Capt. Candice Sperry performs an equipment check on an EC-130H Compass Call aircraft Feb. 1, 2010 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. Captain Sperry was recently awarded the 2009 Air Force Robbie Risner Award for being the top weapons officer in the Air Force. Captain Sperry is with the 41st Electronic Combat Squadron.
 2/3/2010 - OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. (AFNS)

Capt. Candice Sperry, a member of the 41st Electronic Combat Squadron, at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., was awarded the 2009 Air Force Robbie Risner Award, an honor recognizing the service's top weapons officer.

"Captain Sperry was selected as the best of (more than) 170 weapons officers throughout the combat air force, mobility air forces and Air Force Special Operations Command," said.Col. Larry Worley Jr., 55th Electronic Combat Group commander.

Captain Sperry is constantly working on training programs for the ECG's electronic warfare tactics, developing tactics improvement proposals and instructing both in the United States and at deployed locations, Colonel Worley said.

The annual award, created Sept. 24, 1976, is named after retired Brig. Gen. James R. Risner, one of only four Airmen to receive multiple awards of the Air Force Cross.

"It's such an honor to receive the Risner Award because the award itself is based on the awardees' performance after graduating from the Weapons Instructor Course at Nellis AFB, Nev," Captain Sperry said.

The award looks at how each officer takes skills learned at WIC, and how they apply those skills to make the biggest impact on the combat air force, she said.

According to Captain Sperry's officer performance report, during 2009 she commanded an 18-member weapons and tactics flight and regularly assessed the combat capability of the EC-130H Compass Call. In addition, she advised the squadron commander on a variety of issues, mentored her fellow electronic warfare officers and provided critical support to numerous missions for operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

Captain Sperry also attended numerous conferences, participated in several training exercises and worked on her master's degree.

All of this, Colonel Worley said, makes the captain an excellent role model for her peers.

"Captain Sperry has had a tremendous impact, not just in the ECG, but throughout the joint electronic warfare community," he said. "She was deployed more than 10 months (from) 2008 to 2009, and she directly developed, coordinated and fielded EW and other operational plans with our Army, Marine and Naval comrades that led to battlefield success in both OIF and OEF.

"All of us in the Air Force should take pride (knowing) that we have led the way with first-class, elite leaders such as Captain Sperry in our service, (who) obliterate race, ethnic and gender barriers," Colonel Worley said.

Being a weapons officer is something Captain Sperry, a Springfield, Pa., native, said she really enjoys.

"I love it; I get to mold and define the future (not only) through instruction and defining tactics, techniques and procedures, but also in defining the direction of the aircraft," she said.
USAF SSgt. James M. Hodgman
55th Wing Public Affairs
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Valerie M. Smith
Copyright 2010
 

Reprinted from Air Force News Service

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