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Wing commander commends CCAF graduates

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Thirty members of the 162nd Fighter Wing received Associate in Applied Science degrees from the Community College of the Air Force, and were recognized during a ceremony in the base auditorium here July 15.

The Community College of the Air Force is a federally-chartered degree-granting institution that serves the United States Air Force's enlisted force. CCAF partners with more than 90 affiliated Air Force schools, 82 education service offices located worldwide, and more than 1,500 civilian academic institutions to serve more than 320,000 active-duty, Guard and Reserve enlisted personnel - making it the world's largest community college system.

"Every Airman should strive to advance their education, and that's why you're being recognized here today," said Col. Mick McGuire, 162nd Fighter Wing commander, to a crowded room of proud graduates, their friends and families. "Your education should never end. It's a continuum and this is just a way to say great job so far," he said.

The graduates hailed from varied ranks and career fields, ranging from airman 1st class to chief master sergeant.

Capt. Celeste Snyder, the 162nd Fighter Wing's education and training officer, planned the graduation ceremony. She has made it her mission to help unit members and their families achieve their academic goals.

"This is such a smart thing to do for our people, especially with the downturn in the economy. A CCAF degree provides validity to what they're doing for the Guard and shows that they're accomplished in their military position," said Snyder.

This year'sĀ graduates from the 162nd Fighter Wing are:

Class of October 2011

Staff Sgt. Luis Aguilar, Aircrew Safety Systems Technology
Tech. Sgt. Kathleen Branch, Human Resource Management
Staff Sgt. Sarah Cook, Emergency Management
Tech. Sgt. Aldo Estrada, Air and Space Operations Technology
Tech. Sgt. Bryan Gizinski, Aviation Maintenance Technology
Chief Master Sgt. Armando Gonzalez, Human Resource Management
Staff Sgt. David Hadjibabai, Aviation Maintenance Technology
Master Sgt. Ronald Jacobi, Avionic Systems Technology
Staff Sgt. Jordan Jones, Public Affairs
Staff Sgt. Kristopher Joyce, Aircrew Safety Systems Technology
Staff Sgt. Christopher Morell, Air and Space Operations Technology
Staff Sgt. Patricia Pacheco, Criminal Justice
Senior Airman Sean Roth, Weather Technology
Staff Sgt. Joseph Stier, Aviation Maintenance Technology
Senior Master Sgt. Illario Talvy, Human Resource Management
Senior Airman Pedro Toro, Contracts Management
Staff Sgt. Travis Wilson, Bioenvironmental Engineering Technology

Class of April 2012

Airman 1st Class Manuel Benitez, Aerospace ground Equipment
Staff Sgt. Tiffany Desmarais, Aviation Management
Master Sgt. Mary Echeverria, Human Resource Management
Tech. Sgt. Anthony Felix, Avionic Systems Technology
Senior Master Sgt. Stephanie Huether, Intelligence Studies and Technology
Staff Sgt. Roberto Luna, Logistics
Senior Airman Jeremy Mondragon, Munitions Systems Technology
Tech. Sgt. Ryan Sandford, Intelligence Studies and Technology
Staff Sgt. Ross Templeton, Aviation Maintenance Technology
Master Sgt. Desiree Twombly, Public Affairs
Master Sgt. Keron Watson, Contracts Management
Senior Master Sgt. Jeffrey Wolff, Intelligence Studies and Technology
Staff Sgt. Edwin Young, Electronic Systems Technology

Captain Snyder may be reached during unit training assemblies via email at celeste.snyder@ang.af.mil.