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Africom Leaders Recognize Alconbury Airmen for COVID-19 Support

June 26, 2020 | BY AIR FORCE AIRMAN 1ST CLASS JENNIFER ZIMA

Leaders from U.S. Africa Command's intelligence directorate at Royal Air Force Molesworth, England, presented coins of excellence to six airmen of the 423rd Medical Squadron at RAF Alconbury, England, as part of a new initiative called "Africom Aces," which recognizes mission partners who have gone above and beyond in their performance.

Hands hold a large recognition coin in the shape of the African continent and inscribed for excellence on behalf of U.S. Africa Command.
Coin of Excellence
Army Col. Brian Dunmire, multiservice commander of U.S. Africa Command’s intelligence directorate at Royal Air Force Molesworth, England,, and Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Dan Spencer, the directorate’s senior enlisted leader, presented coins of excellence to airmen from the 423rd Medical Squadron at RAF Alconbury, England, June 11, 2020. Dunmire and Spencer launched “Africom Aces,” a new initiative to recognize mission partner personnel and members of the off-base community who go above and beyond in their performance.
Photo By: Air Force Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima
VIRIN: 200611-F-IM475-1098M

"The five public health personnel in the MDS received their coins for doing outstanding work in support of our workforce during the [COVID-19] pandemic," Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Dan Spencer, the intelligence directorate's senior enlisted advisor with Africom, said during the June 11 ceremony at RAF Alconbury. "The sixth airman received his coin for improving 423rd MDS access to U.S. Army readiness systems such as MEDPROS and ePROFILE."

The airmen sent daily COVID-19 reports to Africom's Joint Operations Center in Stuttgart, Germany. Those figures were relayed to Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, the Africom commander. In return, Africom sent the 423rd MDS updates about their personnel with restricted movement orders, in coordination with the command surgeon general's office in Stuttgart.

Recently, the 423rd MDS advised Africom on how to safely return to work while maintaining physical distancing guidelines.

An airman and a soldier, both wearing face masks, exchange an elbow bump during an awards ceremony.
Elbow Bump
Army Col. Brian Dunmire, multiservice commander of U.S. Africa Command’s intelligence directorate at Royal Air Force Molesworth, England, exchanges elbow bumps with an airman during an awards ceremony at RAF Alconbury, England, June 11, 2020. Dunmire and Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Dan Spencer, the directorate’s senior enlisted leader, presented coins of excellence to airmen with the 423rd Medical Squadron at RAF Alconbury, to launch “Africom Aces,” a new initiative to recognize mission-partner personnel and members of the off-base community who go above and beyond in their performance.
Photo By: Air Force Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima
VIRIN: 200611-F-IM475-1084M

Since 2019, Spencer has been working with Army Col. Brian Dunmire, multiservice commander with Africom's intelligence directorate, to build a sense of joint cohesion among all U.S. military branches at Alconbury and Molesworth. In February, Africom hosted a Joint Immersion Day in partnership with the 423rd Air Base Group. This was an opportunity for airmen to learn more about the Army, Navy and Marine Corps.

"Africom Aces is yet another example of the things that Colonel Dunmire and I have attempted in the last year to seamlessly integrate our workforces," Spencer said. "Call it: a strategy. This builds on efforts we began with the 423rd MDS last fall for enhancing medical provider access to joint medical systems in support of readiness, volunteering joint personnel to check ID cards at the front gate of Molesworth and Alconbury, February's Joint Immersion Day in partnership with the [501st Combat Support Wing's career assistance advisor] and other continuing efforts."

Dunmire and Spencer said they launched this initiative to recognize the outstanding work of personnel at Africom's mission partners and in the off-base community. The purpose, they explained, is to recognize individuals while showcasing how important mission partners are to Africom's success, for their contributions in meeting the nation's strategic intent on the African continent, and to continue to foster deeper base-community relationships.

Service members wearing face masks stand during an awards ceremony.
Group Photo
Army Col. Brian Dunmire, multiservice commander of U.S. Africa Command’s intelligence directorate at Royal Air Force Molesworth, England, and Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Dan Spencer, the directorate’s senior enlisted leader, present coins of excellence to personnel with the 423rd Medical Squadron at RAF Alconbury, England, June 11, 2020. Dunmire and Spencer launched “AFRICOM Aces,” a new initiative to recognize mission partner personnel and the off-base community, who go above and beyond in performance of their job.
Photo By: Air Force Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima
VIRIN: 200611-F-IM475-1035M


"We fully intend to crowd-source Africom Aces among our workforce," Spencer said. "This means that if any member of our workforce notices a mission partner teammate going above and beyond in performance of their job, they can nominate that person for consideration as an Africom Ace to Colonel Dunmire and myself. Then, we'll work with their leadership to recognize that person."

Employees of the 501st Combat Support Wing, 423rd Air Base Group, the Joint Analytic Center, the Battlefield Information Collection and Exploitation System, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the off-base community itself are eligible, he added.

(Air Force Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima is assigned to the 501st Combat Support Wing.)