SSgt. Raquel Caramanno, a medical readiness technician with the 412th Medical Support Squadron at Edwards AFB, Calif., is one of the Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2016. As a senior airman, Caramanno was instrumental in leveraging a 50 percent staff loss while flawlessly managing 17 medical contingency response teams and $1 million in war reserve materiel. Her attention to detail drove “Outstanding” test wing ratings in the Air Force Input Tool; Defense Readiness Reporting System; Air Expeditionary Force Reporting Tool; and Emergency Management programs. As the chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear program manager, Caramanno directed a 42 percent capability surge, leading to $40,000 in modernization upgrades to critical assets. She identified a pandemic-influenza shortfall, resulting in the procurement of $26,000 in protective equipment, ensuring the operational integrity of $895,000 in allowance standards. Finally, her dedication to excellence culminated in her selection as the 2015 Air Force Medical Service Health Services Management Airman of the Year. Air Force Magazine is shining the spotlight on each OAY in the days leading up to AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference, which starts Sept. 19 in National Harbor, Md. Also featured were: SMSgt. Mark Farmer, SMSgt. Jeremiah Grisham, SMSgt. Rebecca McNelley, MSgt. Marcus Mader, TSgt. Michael Asuncion, TSgt. Sharry Barnshaw, and TSgt. Cassandra Cruz.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.