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Selfridge Airmen win public affairs honors

SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich. -- A trio of Selfridge Airmen have earned awards from the National Guard Bureau.

Airman 1st Class Brandon Gifford, Tech. Sgt. Rachel Barton and Tech. Sgt. Dan Heaton all earned first place awards in the NGB's annual Media Contest. All three Airmen are assigned to the 127th Wing Public Affairs office.

Gifford, who joined the Public Affairs office in August 2015, was named the Air National Guard's Outstanding New Broadcaster. He was judged based on a portfolio of video products he created during his five months assigned to the PA office.

"It's been such a privilege to serve as a broadcaster in the Air National Guard," Gifford said. "My favorite part is all of the great relationships I've developed. I look forward to the years ahead and learning new ways to share the Air Force story."

Barton shared first place honors with Gifford in the Local Video Newscast category. The two Airmen produce a monthly video featuring 127th Wing commander Brig. Gen. John D. Slocum providing news and information for 127th Wing members. Barton also earned a first place for Graphics Animation for a timeline-style video she created highlighting historical highlights of the 127th Wing and Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

Heaton finished in second place in the ANG Print Journalist of the Year category. It is his fourth straight year of a top three finish in that category, including two past first place finishes. Heaton also won a first place in the Infographics category for a poster he created on the accomplishments of the 107th Fighter Squadron and the capabilities of the A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft.

The 127th Wing's public web site, produced and maintained by the Public Affairs office, earned 2nd place in the Best Website category, at least the fifth straight year that the web site has earned a 1st or 2nd place among all ANG websites.

"The 127th Wing has an important story to tell," Slocum said. "The Airmen of this wing have been performing at historic levels with a high degree of excellence. Our PA Airmen have done a tremendous job of documenting that story and sharing it with our key stakeholders, including our local community. This recognition at a national level merely confirms the high regard in which we hold these Airmen here at Selfridge."

This year's six awards for the 127th Wing Public Affairs office marks at least the fifth consecutive year that the 127th has won the most or tied for the most awards in the annual Media Contest.