Red Tails Earn National Recognition Published May 8, 2019 By Staff Sergeant William Blankenship 187th Fighter Wing Public Affairs DANNELLY FIELD, Ala. -- Two Red Tails recently earned Air National Guard level awards for their exceptional service with the 187th Fighter Wing at Dannelly Field, Alabama. Master Sgt. James Downing and Senior Airman Rita Carter represented the wing at the national level, competing against all other ANG winners in their respective categories. “I’m extremely proud of these two Airmen and how they represent our wing,” said Col. William Sparrow, the 187th FW’s commander. “Our Red Tails perform at the highest level every day and these two Airmen getting recognized at the ANG level is a great reflection of our team. We couldn’t be more proud of them.” Downing, a member of the wing’s recruiting and retention office, won the Top Recruiting Retention Manager of the Year award at the ANG-level. “I’m honored and humbled to be selected for this award,” he said. “I’m very passionate about my job and how the relates to the health of our wing and the state of Alabama for the guard. It’s good to know that at the higher levels, they recognize the quality work that we are doing in this state and the impact Alabama can make on the Air National Guard as a whole.” Carter, representing the Red Tails’ finance team, won the Financial Management Airman of the Year award. “It’s a huge honor to have someone think enough of you and what you've worked to accomplish to even write a package for consideration for these types of awards,” she said. “There are probably lots of people just as deserving that didn't have the type of leadership team that I’m blessed with here that took the time to submit me. This award really is a team award because everyone supported me and put in the time for this to be possible. I truly feel blessed.” Both winners were presented with their awards during May’s drill weekend.