415th SOS Airman awarded Dutch Huyser Award for exemplary performance Published Nov. 8, 2022 By Airman 1st Class Spencer Kanar 377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Staff Sergeant Cristopher Veach, an instructor loadmaster with the 415th Special Operations Squadron, recently won the 2021 General Robert “Dutch” Huyser Award in the loadmaster category. This award is given each year by the Airlift/Tanker Association to individuals who exemplify sustained excellence in Airmanship. As an instructor, Veach helps prepare students in the loadmaster pipeline for their evaluations at the end of the course. He aids students by ensuring they are knowledgeable about the aircraft, its systems and limitations, and teaching students to operate within directives. “Cristopher is a professional in every sense of the word,” said Lt. Col. Charles Thomas, 415th SOS commander. “He honed his gifts, talents and skills to showcase his leadership, teamwork, and ability to mentor future and aviators for rescue and special operations forces missions and taskings. He models excellence, and is a true example of how hard work, dedication, studying, and selfless actions lead to accomplishing tasks fulfilling the national mission." During his career, Veach has achieved numerous accomplishments to include completing his Community College of the Air Force associates degree in Aviation Operations while deployed, holding the position of Group Joint Airdrop Inspector for the 563rd Operations Support Squadron, serving as lead loadmaster during numerous operations, and various other achievements. In addition, Veach was selected to fill the deployed operations superintendent role for the 79th Rescue Squadron, a role usually reserved for senior noncommissioned officers. “Winning this award just lets me know that I am doing the right things,” Veach said. “It gives me more motivation to continue being the best non-commissioned officer and loadmaster I can be. I am extremely grateful, and I could not have won this award without the support and mentorship of my peers and leadership who put me in the position to be successful.” Veach’s exceptional service with the 415th SOS and actions during his last deployment earned him the Air Force level award. "Veach is a consummate professional,” said Senior Master Sgt. Michael Schoettlin, 415th SOS Senior Enlisted Leader. “I've always been impressed by his quiet intensity, determination, and work ethic, constantly striving to better himself and those around him. Over the last year, he was a part of some truly remarkable, high-stakes situations. He performed flawlessly, leading his crew to execute multiple high-priority, no-fail missions." The General Robert "Dutch" Huyser Award is named after retired General Robert E. "Dutch" Huyser, who commanded the Military Airlift Command from 1979 to 1981.