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Triumph of 171st Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs Team

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Bryan Hoover
  • 171st Air Refueling Wing

The 171st Air Refueling Wing, Pennsylvania Air National Guard's public affairs team, recently emerged victorious in the statewide Morrell Media Awards competition, securing first place in eight out of 15 categories. Master Sgt. Bryan Hoover set himself apart from other entrants by claiming four first-place awards, all while the team's overall dominance saw 16 of 33 winners hailing from the 171st.

During the submission window, the 171st public affairs team consisted of six dedicated members. Each team member found success, winning either first, second or third place awards, showcasing the team's collective talent and commitment to excellence.

Notably, Staff Sgt. Zoe Wockenfuss walked away with top honors as the 2023 Military Photographer of the Year. “I am very humbled that not only my immediate supervisors sought to recognize my work, but that my work was selected as the best in the state,” said Wockenfuss. “Winning this award drives me to work harder in hopes that I can continue to demonstrate the hard work that I and the rest of the team put in here (at the 171st.)”

The accomplishments of the 171st public affairs team extend beyond individual achievements; they underscore the unit's commitment to effective communication, transparency, and community engagement. The team plays a vital role in bridging the gap between the military unit and the public, emphasizing the high standards upheld by the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.

The team's recent achievements owe much to Senior Master Sgt. Shawn Monk, who serves as the Public Affairs Operations Chief and Superintendent. He deserves recognition for his excellent guidance and leadership. Monk's influence has been crucial in shaping the team's success, laying the groundwork for their accomplishments. “It’s rewarding for me to see the Airmen find pride in their art and design. It’s even better to see them be rewarded for it,” said Monk. “My hope is that these award-winning Airmen can one day inspire the next generation of PA (Public Affairs) Airmen.”

See the entire selection of award-winning articles, photos and videos, here