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NEWS | Dec. 4, 2019

128th Aviation Brigade awards instructor of the year

By Senior Airman Monica Roybal 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The 128th Aviation Brigade hosted the Instructor of the Year ceremony to recognize instructors who have demonstrated an accelerated proficiency level of instruction for U.S. Army Advanced Individual Training Soldiers at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Nov. 21, 2019. 

Leadership named U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Smithey, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 210th Aviation Regiment, 128th Aviation Brigade avionic mechanic instructor, and William M. Storrs, Charlie Co., 2nd Bte., 210th Aviation Regiment, 128th Aviation Bde. instructor writer, as Instructors of the Year. Staff Sgt. Dennis S. Kay, Bravo Co., 2nd Bte., 210th Aviation Regiment, 128th Aviation Bde. instructor writer, won the Aviation Logistics Trainer Commander’s award during the ceremony.

The 128th Aviation Bde. Headquarters quality assurance element team members observed Smithey and Storrs teaching the AIT Soldiers the core concepts the students must comprehend in order to graduate and then apply at their first duty station. 

The QAE members judged on subject knowledge, articulation, projection, enthusiasm, confidence, effectiveness and student interaction while the instructors taught the avionic mechanic course. 

Smithey, who has been an instructor for more than two years, explained how he is eager to teach others and the gratification that comes with guiding students through the learning process. 

“It’s a great feeling when I get to see that light bulb go off in a student’s head,” Smithey said. “I get to teach them new skills, and see their confidence grow as they are learning. That’s what motivates me every day when I come to work.” 

The Aviation Logistics Trainer Commander’s award is for members who have significantly impacted training methods that promote unit progress and efficiency. Kay won the award for implementing the transition to a new network of laptops, which consolidated individual aircraft maintenance logs, called Aircraft Notebooks. Kay also developed a cloud network making aircraft information accessible in hangar work stations and in the classroom for AIT Soldiers and instructors.

The brigade commander praised the award recipients during the ceremony.

“This year we recognized Sgt. 1st Class Smithey, Mr. Storrs and Staff Sgt. Kay for the outstanding job they have done over the past year,” said Col. Bryan Morgan, 128th Aviation Bde. commander. “The competition was arduous because there are outstanding instructors and support personnel within this brigade, but these three individuals distinguished themselves through their dedication to their job, and their dedication to the people they are teaching. We all have an incredible responsibility for the future of Army aviation maintenance and these gentlemen start our Soldiers off on the right path.”