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Laughlin XLer earns NCO of the Year award
Tech. Sgt. Mitchell Valentine, 47th Operations Support Squadron NCO in charge of weather operations, checks weather patterns here at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, on March 28, 2013. Weather patterns are routinely checked to provide up-to-date, accurate information to Team XL. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class John D. Partlow)
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Laughlin XLer earns NCO of the Year award

Posted 4/12/2013   Updated 4/12/2013 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class John D. Partlow
47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

4/12/2013 - LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Tech. Sgt. Mitchell Valentine, 47th Operations Support Squadron NCO in charge of weather operations, earned the NCO of the Year award out of all weather operators in the Air Force.

The purpose of the award is to acknowledge Air Force military and civilian individuals and units for exceptional performance in the line of duty.

"I'm really excited I won the award," said Valentine. "I think this reflects well on the shop and the base as a whole."

Valentine, a native of Atlanta, Mich., has served in the Air Force for 12 years and has spent the last eight years in weather operations.

Valentine says the best part of his job as a weather operator is working with student pilots.

"Interacting with the student pilots lets you know how important your job can be," said Valentine. "These pilots usually have very little experience, so predicting the right weather for their flight is very important."

Tech. Sgt. Brian Aragon, 47th OSS NCOIC of weather systems and one of Valentine's coworkers, said the award could not have gone to a more deserving person.

"He's a hard charger," said Aragon. "Many things that were done here couldn't have been accomplished without him. In the short time he's been here, I've learned a lot from him."

One of Valentine's accomplishments was his creation of the weather page on Laughlin's official website to deliver accurate and up-to-date weather information to Team XL and the Del Rio community.

Valentine originally joined the Air Force for its educational benefits, but now plans to make the Air Force a life-long career.

As far as winning the award, Valentine credits the work to his coworkers and fellow Airmen.

"The shop has done all of the work behind this award," said Valentine. "I've had a lot of hard-workers around me and some great mentors."

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