An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NEWS | Sept. 9, 2020

Alaska Air National Guardsman takes home regional Airman of the Year award

By Sgt. Seth LaCount Alaska National Guard Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. Kailey Mills, a crew chief assigned to the 176th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard, received the regional Airman of the Year Award last week for her accomplishments in 2019.

While still wearing the rank of senior airman, Mills executed 44 major inspections, completed five aircraft modifications, had a 100-percent evaluation pass rate, exceeded maintenance standards and expeditiously responded to a ground emergency to ensure mission capability. She also assisted in the completion of five aircraft modifications exceeding more than 10-million dollars. During a deployment to Al Asad, Iraq, in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE, in addition to her crew chief responsibilities, Mills helped refurbish a base gym, which enhanced the safety and quality of life for nearly 200 deployed personnel.

Mills completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing last year, graduating with cum laude honors the same year she was deployed for four months. She also volunteered to assist in a medical care clinic at a local homeless shelter.

Mills’ influence and high standards at work also extended beyond her military career field. She led 10 flightline tours in 2019 involving more than 120 civilians. These tours resulted in three people joining the Alaska Air National Guard and furthered the 176th Wing’s recruiting goals.

Mills competed against Airmen from the eight states in Region VI and was selected for the award by the Enlisted Field Advisory Council. Chief Master Sgt. Winfield Hinkley Jr., the Alaska National Guard’s senior enlisted leader who sat in on the council for the selection process, described the unanimous decision to select Mills as a “immediate and obvious choice”, after reviewing her exceptional performance in 2019.

Every year, Air National Guardsmen from all 54 states and territories compete to be selected for the U.S. Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year.

The competition begins at the state level, where members from the two Alaska Air Guard wings compete for awards in four categories: Airman, Noncommissioned Officer, Senior NCO, and First Sergeant of the Year.

State winners from around the country then progress to the regional stage, where they compete in one of seven designated regions. Alaska falls into Region VI Northwest, which includes Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Regional winners compete in each of the categories at the NGB level to determine the four Airmen who will be nominated for the U.S. Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the year.
Alaska Army National Guard conducts trio of command changes
June 17, 2024
Alaska Army National Guard Lt. Col. Aaron Hamilton, left, 207th Multi-Functional Training Regiment outgoing commander, passes his unit’s colors to Col. Michele Edwards, 297th Regional Support Group commander, signifying the end of his command during a change of command ceremony at the Camp Carroll flagpole on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, June 16, 2024.

Alaska Air National Guard rescues 6 plane crash victims near Port Alsworth
June 12, 2024
Alaska Air National Guard rescues 6 plane crash victims near Port Alsworth

Alaska National Guard hosts The Adjutant General’s Match
June 10, 2024
An Army National Guardsmen from 1st Battalion, 297th Infantry Regiment surveys his pistol targets while competing in The Adjutant General’s Match at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, May 20, 2024.

Alaska Guard Soldiers honored before Middle East deployment
June 6, 2024
na

AKARNG athlete takes home top honors in Lincoln Marathon, highlights Guard sports program
June 5, 2024
na

Alaska Air National Guard rescues hypothermic mariner near Kodiak
June 3, 2024
Alaska Air National Guard trains with Coast Guard at Air Station Kodiak

AKANG 176th Wing Rescue Triad conducts water rescue training in Alaska
June 3, 2024
Alaska Air National Guard pararescuemen from the 212th Rescue Squadron conduct underway hoist training in the Prince William Sound near Whittier, Alaska, May 16, 2024. The Airmen of the 212th RQS are trained, equipped, and postured to conduct full-spectrum personnel recovery to include both conventional and unconventional rescue operations. The 212th, along with the 210th and 211th RQSs, make up the 176th Wing Rescue Triad and are among the busiest combat search and rescue units in the world. (Alaska National Guard photo by Alejandro Peña)

Alaska Army Guardsmen compete in Best Warrior Competition 2024
May 21, 2024
laska Army National Guard Sgt. Brendan White, an infantryman assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 297th Infantry Regiment, is awarded 2024 Noncomissioned Officer of the Year in a closing ceremony during the AKARNG’s State Best Warrior Competition at Camp Carroll on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, May 18, 2024.

Gobi Wolf 2024 strengthens partnerships for disaster resilience
May 20, 2024
Airman 1st Class Stefany Brummer, a fire protection specialist with the Alaska Air National Guard, operates the backup safety line during the Field Training Exercise’s high-angle rescue techniques training at Gobi Wolf 2024 in Choibalsan, Mongolia, May 9. The teams showcased best practices in safely extracting trapped individuals from precarious situations.

Alaska National Guard kicks off initial phase of Kodiak Arctic Care ‘24
May 9, 2024
Members of the U.S. Public Health Service offload from an Alaska Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 144th Airlift Squadron, 176th Wing, during Kodiak Arctic Care 24 Innovative Readiness Training Mission at Kodiak, Alaska, May 6, 2024.