Senior Airman Ryan Dalton, a Waverly, Nebraska native who now serves as an aircrew flight equipment technician with the Nebraska Air National Guard’s 155th Operations Support Squadron, was recently named the United States Air Force Outstanding Aircrew Flight Equipment Award 2016 Air Reserve Component Airman of the Year at the 155th Air Refueling Wing in Lincoln.
This award adds to a growing list of accomplishments that includes receiving the Outstanding Airman of the Year for the 155th Operations Group, the 2016 Air National Guard Aircrew Flight Equipment Airman of the Year along with completing Airman Leadership School and graduating from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation as a Cum Laude Honors Graduate recipient.
Dalton was also recognized for spearheading the project to install nuclear flash blindness goggles into helmets, making his shop one of the first to have their helmets nuclear ready.
Additionally, when an order came down to install a new piece of equipment into the 20-men life rafts on our jets, Dalton and his supervisor, Tech. Sgt. Michael Wellman, a noncommissioned officer in-charge of the 155th Aircrew Flight Equipment, decided to test it after installing the new equipment. The test showed flaws in the new equipment, which was then recognized at the national level.
“I don't want our aircrew members to ever have to use any of the life-saving equipment we maintain, that means something terrible has happened. But God forbid that situation takes place, the aircrew and passengers on board can trust that we have done our jobs to ensure that they return home safe,” Dalton said. “I take that responsibility very seriously and treat each piece of equipment as if it were my own, as if I might have to use it. I want that gear to be top of line, and function perfectly.”
Dalton’s hard work ethic and his attention to detail, show others around him what it means to go above and beyond the responsibilities of his job.
“You definitely have to be proactive in your own career, because it’s what you make of it,” Dalton said. “I make a list of tasks to do and keep myself focused on the next step, that’s how I stay motivated.”
This June will mark Dalton’s fourth year in the Nebraska Air National Guard.