Kentucky Airman named top aerial porter

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Phil Speck
  • 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office
Senior Airman Cory Corbin was presented with the Chief Master Sgt. Tommy Downs Award for Excellence in Aerial Port Operations during a ceremony at the 123rd Airlift Wing here Sept. 16, recognizing him as the top Air Transportation Journeyman in the Air National Guard for 2015.

Senior Master Sgt. Larry Burba, superintendent of the wing's aerial port, says that Corbin is a highly motivated Airman and is always the first to volunteer for mission taskings.

"He's involved in all areas that a Guardsman could participate in," Burba said. "He's part of stateside operations and part of federal war-fight operations. He is the all-around Kentucky Guardsman, and a great example of what that would be -- someone who is always first to raise their hand and volunteer."

Corbin has deployed several times, including a tour at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, where he led the movement of 23,700 tons of cargo and 36,000 passengers during 2,600 missions. He was also a key player in the "Kuwait 500," an immediate base-closing effort in which he helped redeploy 737 tons of rolling stock in 30 days.

Most recently, Corbin deployed with the 123rd Contingency Response Group to Dakar, Senegal, where the unit supported the U.S. military's response to the largest Ebola outbreak in history, supervising the movement of 469 passengers and 1,198 tons of cargo on 193 missions into affected areas.

He also eradicated over 445,000 marijuana plants as part of an elite Joint Service Operation within the state of Kentucky, preventing the use and sale of more than $900,000 worth of illegal drugs.

Corbin is a member of the Kentucky Air National Guard's Honor Guard team, a member of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard, a Medevac litter team member and Ramp Team Chief for the Kentucky Air Guard's Cargo Deployment Function. He also donates funds and volunteers time to the Kentucky State Police for state trooper projects and is pursuing a career with the New Albany Indiana Police Department.

"It was an honor and very humbling to be selected among my peers to receive this award," Corbin said.

The award is named in honor of former 123rd Airlift Wing Command Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Downs, who was an aerial port superintendent before passing away in 2009 after more than three decades of service. The award has been bestowed annually since 2012.

"Command Chief Master Sgt. Tommy Downs was a true hero who cared for nothing more than the Airmen around him," said Chief Master Sgt. Brian Pritt, air transportation manager for the 130th Logistics Readiness Squadron. "It didn't matter what rank, unit, branch or state they were from, he made sure they had the tools necessary to accomplish the mission and they felt his true compassion and love for the 'Port Dawg'."

"He immediately made you feel that you were a part of the family for which we are known. He defined the true meaning of our core values as far as integrity, service before self and excellence, and everyone who came in contact with him knew that those words were much more than a phrase to him ¬-- it was a way of life."