Selfridge Public Affairs Wins Honors

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Airmen at the 127th Public Affairs office won top honors in the 2011 National Guard Bureau Media Contest for the Air National Guard.

The winners from the 127th Wing are Technical Sgt. Dan Heaton, who placed first in the Commentary category and second in the News Article Category; Technical Sgt. David Kujawa who placed first in the Combat Documentation Photograph category; and, Staff Sgt. Rachel Barton who placed second in the Graphics Illustration category. The unit also was awarded second place for the wing's website,, and third place for Web-based Publications, for the electronic version of the monthly Prevailing Wind newsletter.

The media contest has multiple categories for four different career fields: broadcasters, graphic artists, journalists and photographers. The contest starts at the wing level and from there submissions move on to the major command level.

Heaton's commentary titled "On the Jogging path: Confessions of a PT Runner" received top honors in that category. His news story was about the wing's September deployment "Forward deployed: 127th Airmen deploy to Afghanistan" told the story of not only the deployers, but also of all those units, squadrons, and flights in the wing that worked together to get the more than 300 Airmen - and their aircraft and needed equipment -- out of town in record time.

Kujawa's winning Combat Documentation Photograph was taken during a deployment for training with the 107th Special Operations Weather Flight. His photograph titled "Downed Pilot Exercise" has been enlarged and on public display in the 127th Public Affairs Office since it was taken in August.

"Sgt. Kujawa took several amazing shots during this year's Gray Wolverine Exercise," said Master Sgt. Terry Atwell, 127th Multimedia Manager, referring to the annual Weather Flight training deployment to Alpena and Grayling. "We knew he had a winning shot in there - the biggest challenge for us was to narrow it down to just one photo for the contest."

Barton created the graphic logo that was used to promote the 2011 Selfridge Air Show and Open House.

"The photos, stories, videos and graphics created by the Public Affairs Office help to tell the Air Force story in general, and Michigan's Hometown Air Force story in particular," said Capt. Penny Carroll, 127th Wing Public Affairs officer.

"It's easy to get used to writing the same military news pieces of deployments and changes of commands," Carroll said. "Winning in these categories boosts our confidence in our respective career fields and encourages us to stretch our boundaries a bit more to strive for that best photo or new story angle that keeps our products fresh and interesting for our Airmen and our community."

The awards are welcome recognition of jobs well-done, Atwell said.

"Our public affairs office makes their jobs look easy, but I know they are always working, always there to provide top-notch public affairs counsel to commanders when needed, while still turning out award-winning products," he said. "It's undoubtedly one of the best PA shops I've worked with in my more than 30-year military career."