Connecticut Air National Guard’s Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year finishes 16 months on the road

  • Published
  • By Capt. Bryon M. Turner
  • 103rd Air Operations Group
Master Sgt. Robert E. Bailey of the 103rd Air and Space Operations Group returned from a period of more than 16 months on the road culminating with a seven-month deployment to the Combined Air and Space Operations Center in Southwest Asia.

Bailey served as the Targets and Imagery Support Element Superintendent, supervising more than 17 enlisted targeteers and imagery support specialists while advising and mentoring three junior officers. Under his leadership, Master Sgt. Bailey's deployed duty section provided a wide range of targeting and imagery support to senior commanders and friendly forces throughout the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility.

From enhancing situational awareness and risk analysis for senior leaders to improving mission effectiveness and contributing to the safety of allied ground forces as they engaged with the enemy, Bailey and his team were a true force multiplier.

"Getting first-hand positive feedback from the guys on the ground and their commanders was the most rewarding part of the job," said Bailey. "I took great pride in particular, when I and my fellow Guardsmen were singled out for our efforts as critical components of the ongoing mission."

Sergeant Bailey and his team were lauded for their development of products used to improve mission execution for Joint Terminal Air Controllers and the operators with whom they were imbedded while in contact with enemy ground forces in the region. These products reportedly saved lives and helped to ensure mission goals were accomplished.

"Over and over again we were told the mission could not be done without the support of the Air National Guard," said Bailey.

His seven-month deployment came on the heels of his three-month technical school and a six-month deployment to Shaw Air Force Base where he helped develop real-world targeting and planning materials and received hands-on training in his career field.

After finishing his 16 months of combined deployed service, Bailey returned to Bradley where he was awarded the coveted SNCO of the Year award for the state of Connecticut. His award package will now compete at the national level with outstanding Airmen from across the globe.