ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
U.S. Air Force Capt. Dustin Gooden, 97th Civil Engineer Squadron operations flight commander, recently won the Air Education and Training Command’s Company Grade Officer of the Year award for 2019.
The operations flight is responsible for the operations, maintenance, and repair of $2 billion of base infrastructure, including around 700 facilities, 3,500 acres of real estate, three runways with approximately three million square yards of pavement, a $6 million vehicle fleet and a warehouse containing $987,000 in materials. He also leads 148 personnel across nine careers and manages a $6.5 million annual budget covering 20 service contracts, supports 7,600 personnel, 40 aircraft, and the United States Air Force’s sole C-17, KC-135 and KC-46 Field Training Units.
Gooden said he was grateful for the awards and the opportunities he received that led to it.
“I feel extremely blessed, thankful and honored to receive this award,” said Gooden. “I’ve been very fortunate to work with outstanding individuals and to be on great teams throughout the past year. My deployment to Kenya as director of operations, mission support flight commander, and base civil engineer provided me with opportunities to grow both within the unit and outside of my career field. In addition, my current position as operations flight commander has provided countless opportunities to grow as a leader.”
While Gooden himself earned the award, he credited many others for helping put him in a position to be deserving of it.
“There are so many people to thank for their mentorship and help in achieving this award,” he said. “My wife Laura Gooden, my boys: Harrison and Lincoln Gooden, my parents: Donna and Lynn Gooden, all levels of leadership, the 97th CES Squadron, Lt. Col. Thomas, the operations flight team, Mr. Dean Thornton, Senior Master Sgt. Flynn, Lt. Wontrop, Senior Master Sgt. Johnson, Mr. Tim Condon, Mr. Dusty Burkybile, Master Sgt. Stephenson, The Manda Bay team and my mentors throughout my time in the Air Force.”
With the award secured, Gooden said his future success will require continued teamwork and service to those he leads.
“Nothing is done alone and success is more about those you serve than anything you believe you can accomplish yourself.”