185th Public Affairs Team Take Home Media Awards

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Rich Murphy
  • 185th Public Affairs
The public affairs team at the 185th Air Refueling Wing (ARW) were awarded five top awards, including two first place finishes, in the Air National Guard's 2011 media contest.

The Air National Guard Media contest reviews the works of Public Affairs professionals across the nation, awarding the top performers in a variety of categories. Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot, the 185th Public Affairs Manager, Tech. Sgt. Oscar Sanchez, a Public Affairs Photographer, and Capt. Pet Shinn, a Public Affairs Officer, all earned recognition for their work during 2011.

De Groot' s video news report, "Sentry Down Under," was awarded the top television news report in the Air National guard in 2011. The report highlighted the 185th ARW's training mission in Williamstown, New South Wales, Australia. This is the second consecutive year De Groot has taken the first place in this category. He was also awarded 2nd place in the Pictorial Photograph division for his photo "A Gathering of Giants."

Sanchez was awarded 1st place in the Feature Photograph category with for his photo "Flag Fold." His photo features Senior Airman Preston Crandell, the 2011 Iowa National Guard Honor Guard member of the year folding a flag during a ceremony. Sanchez also earned 3rd place in the Combat Documentation category with his photo "Crew Chief."

Shinn also received accolades for his work on the 734th Agri-Business Development Team's social media initiative. During the 734th's one-year deployment to Afghanistan, Shinn maintained the unit's Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr pages. Family and friends of the 64 deployed members were able to see photos and updates throughout the deployment.

"We have a top notch PA team here," said Col. Mark Foreman, Vice Commander of the 185th ARW. "We can always count on our Public Affairs team to tell the 185th story."

De Groot said, "Everyone in our shop consistently contributes professional grade products. We work hard, but it is worth it when we get national recognition for the quality of the product we produce."

Top finishers in the Air National Guard media contest will advance to the Air Force level contests, before ultimately being considered for the Thomas Jefferson Awards, which recognizes the top media in all of the branches of the military.

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