Four Kentucky Guard Airmen honored at NGAKY Conference

  • Published
  • By Dale Greer
  • 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Four Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard were honored for outstanding achievement during the National Guard Association of Kentucky’s annual conference here Feb. 3.

2nd Lt. Audrey Parios of the 123rd Maintenance Group was recognized with one of two NGAKY Service Awards. During the Kentucky National Guard’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Parios worked seamlessly with military and civilian counterparts to provide more than 53,000 hours of non-clinical services, freeing medical providers to execute crucial patient care. While deployed off-station for Maintenance University 2023, Parios masterfully led 266 service members through 114 training events, amassing more than 1,700 classroom hours to increase aircraft maintenance proficiency without incident, according to the award citation. She also led the aircraft generation efforts for six C-130J Super Hercules transports without error or delay, assuring critical Ready Aircrew Training during the wing’s conversion to the new airframe.

Capt. Steven Paul, a civil engineering officer assigned to the 123rd Contingency Response Group, also received an NGAKY Service Award. Over the course of 2023, Paul expertly directed operational planning efforts and expeditionary base operating support for airbase opening and Joint Task Force-Port Opening missions. He provided force beddown layout, construction plans and airfield pavement evaluations that enabled crucial rapid airfield assessments in austere environments worldwide, according to the award citation. His technical expertise was further demonstrated during Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System surveys, in which Paul provided the U.S. Forest Service with mission-critical certifications and authorized C-130 firefighting operations at multiple overseas locations. Paul also participated in Arctic Regional Security Orientation, expanding the Contingency Response Group’s arctic capability.

Capt. Matthew Hourigan, an installation deployment officer assigned to the 123rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, received the NGAKY’s George Rogers Clark Outstanding Young Officer Award. Hourigan led a complete re-write of the 123rd Airlift Wing’s Installation Deployment Plan, modernizing how the wing deploys for large-scale combat operations against peer and near-peer adversaries. He also served as a key manager of logistics operations for multiple real-world and exercise deployments over the past two years, according to the association.

Lt. Col. Dan Dierfeldt, a flight surgeon assigned to the 123rd Medical Group, received the NGAKY Community Service Award for completing 125 volunteer hours as a reserve deputy with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. He also volunteered 20 hours to make and deliver blankets for the University of Louisville's Palliative Care team, providing comfort to patients suffering from life-threatening injuries and illness.