Ky. Air Guard Public Affairs earns 4 more national awards, eclipsing triple-digit mark

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  • 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Public Affairs specialists from the Kentucky Air National Guard earned four awards of excellence in the 2021 Air National Guard media contest, the National Guard Bureau announced Thursday, bringing their total number of national honors to 103.

Tech. Sgt. Joshua Horton earned first place for photojournalism in the Air Guard division of the 2021 Department of the Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Douglas W. Morrell Media Awards. His submission included an article and multiple photos depicting the application of livery markings to new C-130J Super Hercules aircraft slated for delivery to the 123rd Airlift Wing. Horton also earned first place in the same category at both the Air Guard and Air Force levels in 2019.

Lt. Col. Dale Greer, in his role as Air Reserve Technician, was named runner-up Civilian Photographer of the Year for a package of 13 photos depicting the 123rd Airlift Wing’s support to COVID-19 response, the Thunder Over Louisville air show and several other events. Greer was named ANG Civilian Photographer of the Year in 2019.

Finally, Staff Sgt. Clayton Wear took home two awards this year in his first showing at the contest: second-place information story and third-place feature photo for his coverage of Maintenance University and the wing’s response to a tornado that devastated parts of Western Kentucky.

The latest awards bring the total number of national honors bestowed on KYANG Public Affairs to 103 since 1995. Those include Air Force Print Journalist of the Year and two Department of Defense Thomas Jefferson Awards, DOD’s highest journalism prize.

“I think it’s fair to say that no public affairs shop in the National Guard — Army or Air — has a stronger record of sustained excellence and superb performance than the Kentucky Air National Guard,” said Army Lt. Col. Stephen Martin, who stepped down last month as state public affairs officer following a 15-year career in public affairs to command the Kentucky Guard’s Army Aviation Support Facility.

“Their work product, whether it’s news articles, feature photography or video reports, always exemplifies a longstanding culture of excellence that’s truly world-class, helping tell the story of the 123rd Airlift Wing to a global audience in an extremely compelling way.”

The media contest evaluates hundreds of entries from across the Air National Guard every year, drawn from each unit’s published work. The 123rd Airlift Wing publishes hundreds of articles, photos and videos annually on public websites and social media platforms, logging an average of 1 million views per year.