Spotlight: SrA. Matthew J. Butler

One of the Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2012, SrA. Matthew J. Butler is a weather forecaster with the 15th Operational Weather Squadron at Scott AFB, Ill. Deployed to Iraq for Operation New Dawn, Butler executed 400 forecasts to enable 5,500 flight hours and 40 combat convoys. He identified low-risk routes for 53 missions, enabling 30,000 tons of cargo to be airlifted to battlefield outposts. Executing 63 close air support briefings, he identified opportunities to ensure supplies were delivered to troops pinned down by enemy fire. When entrusted with a high-visibility resource protection role, he beat the forecasting accuracy standard by 22 percent. His timely forecasts of damaging hail, a blizzard, and mission-limiting winds to Air Force and Army units enabled cost-saving preventive measures for high-value aircraft and weapons and life-saving measures for helicopter medical evacuation flights. Butler’s home of record is Colorado Springs, Colo. The Daily Report is shining the spotlight on each OAY. Also featured to date: SrA. Nicholas A. Hurt.