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Awardees of the 2019 Okinawa Missile Defender of the Year Award Ceremony at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan on November 18, 2019.

In celebration of unity, partnership, and recognition of excellence amongst the air defense warriors of the United States and Japan in the defense of Okinawa, we recognized 44 Soldiers, Airmen, and Marines in their outstanding leadership in maintaining readiness in the defense Okinawa this past year. Lieutenant General Yasuhiko Suzuki of Japan, Commander of Southwestern Air Defense Force and Jieitai Okinawa Area Coordinator, and Lieutenant Colonel Rossana Clemente, Commander of 1-1 Air Defense Artillery Battalion, of the only United States Patriot Battalion deployed to Japan joined in honoring these awardees for this critical mission.

2019 Okinawa Missile Defender of the Year Awardees

15th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment (Japan Ground Self-Defense Force)

SGM Kohei Hotta (Section 3 SGM)
SFC Masanori Goto (ADCCS Section Leader)
SFC Toshifumi Kambe (Radar Section Leader)
SFC Yuki Shimada (Fire Control Section Leader)
SFC Koichiro Kusunoki (Signal Company Training NCO)
SGT Takahiro Irabu (Fire Control Operator)
SGT Syhei Sueyoshi (Communication NCO)

5th Air Defense Missile Group (Japan Air Self-Defense Force)

MSgt Manabu Hamanaka (Missile Operations)
TSgt Ryo Miyazaki (Human Resource Specialist)
TSgt Takumi Yamazato (Equipment Mechanic)
TSgt Tetsuji Terashima (Missile Operations)
TSgt Shotaro Matsumoto (Systems Maintainer)
SSgt Keishi Matsumoto (Missile Operations)

623rd Air Control Squadron (U.S. Air Force)

TSgt Angel Vargas (Weapons Director)
A1C Tara Morte (Tactical Data Link Manager)

Marine Corps Air Control Squadron 4 (U.S. Marine Corps)

SSgt Javier Rodriguez (TAOC Training Program Chief)
Cpl Brendon Powell (Tactical Data Systems Administrator)

1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery (U.S. Army)

(Information Coordination Central)
1LT Bailey King
SSG Jeffrey Bates
SGT Ryan Phillips

(Tactical Control Station)
SGT Naomi Beery
SGT Francisco Cisneros
PFC Juan Garcia

(Charlie Battery Engagement Control Station)
CW2 Ramon Duverge
SSG Jacob Whitehead
SGT Brett York

(Charlie Battery Command Post)
SGT Francisco Valenzuela
SPC Eric McKinnon

(Charlie Battery Missile Reload)
PFC Roberto Rivera
PFC William Laver
SGT Aaron Cobian
SGT Briar Roseboom
SPC Antonio Gonzalez

 (Bravo Battery Systems Maintenance)
CPL Torres, Patrick

(Alpha Battery Engagement Control Station)
1LT Leah C. Tonetti
SSG Jack W. Earnshaw
SPC Johnson Zakeem S.

(Alpha Battery Command Post)
SPC Ezequiel Z. Sanabria
SPC Nathan A. DeBlonk

(Alpha Battery Missile Reload)
SGT Robert L. Wright
SGT Ezekial T. Tamayo
SPC Zachary G. Shahan
SPC Craig R. Staples
SPC Jacob Castillo

We thank each and every one for their service and sacrifice for their country. They are commended for making a difference in helping to stabilize a critical region of the world and to help make Japan safe.

Mission Statement

MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.

MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.