YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The 5th Air Force honored its top military and civilian members Wednesday at the command’s annual awards ceremony in the Yokota Enlisted Club.

Retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Robert Gaylor, closing out a tour of Pacific bases, served as guest speaker.

The 2006 Outstanding Airman and Civilian of the Year race featured 28 nominees representing Yokota, Kadena and Misawa air bases, along with Headquarters 5th Air Force. The categories and winners were:

Airman: Airman 1st Class Mark A. Hughes of Kadena’s 18th Civil Engineer Squadron.Noncommissioned officer: Tech. Sgt. Richard K. Snider of Kadena’s 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron.Senior NCO: Master Sgt. Michael C. Hullender of Yokota’s 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron.First sergeant: Senior Master Sgt. Graham Smith of Kadena’s 18th Communications Squadron.Company-grade officer: Capt. Michelle L. Pryor of Kadena’s 909th Air Refueling Squadron.Civilian category I (GS-7 and below): Masako Segawa of Misawa’s 35th Medical Support Squadron.Civilian category II (GS 9-12): Randall Kimura of Kadena’s 18th Civil Engineer Squadron.Chief Master Sgt. Jim Roy, command chief for the 5th Air Force and U.S. Forces Japan, said the recipients now would compete at the Pacific Air Forces level. Enlisted winners then become eligible for the Air Force’s top prize in the Outstanding Airman of the Year program.

“We appreciate their … professionalism,” Roy said. “That’s really what it’s all about. They’ve risen to this level and it’s an opportunity for us to recognize … their significant accomplishments from throughout the year.”

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