KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
Two noncommissioned officers assigned to the 377th Security Forces Squadron at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, have received Air Force Global Strike Command 2020 GEICO Military Service Awards, and will now compete at the Air Force level.
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ryan E. Heath, NCO in charge of operations & confinement, received the award in the Traffic Safety and Accident Prevention category.
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew G. Mead, military working dog handler, and MWD “Baxi,” received the award in the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention category.
According to Heath’s award citation, he led law enforcement operations for six flights and 215 Airmen during 22 domestic violence cases, 23 driving while intoxicated incidents, and 13 major vehicle accidents, totaling more than 1,000 responses, ensuring the safety of the 377th Air Base Wing and mission partners. Additionally, Heath served as a Central Registry Board member, where he coordinated with 114 agencies and assisted in validating 72 cases, enabling Air Force families to receive vital assistance. Finally, Heath drove a $31 million upgrade to entry control point force protection, where he led the Defense Biometric Identification Systems revamp, increasing scans by 60%. His actions directly led to thwarting 1,700 illegal entries, dropping trespasses by 80%.
Mead’s award citation identified him as Tyndall Air Force Base’s number one MWD handler. He provided safety, security, and narcotic detection capabilities following the devastation from Hurricane Michael. Mead also apprehended 13 suspects, seized 54 grams of tetrahydrocannabinol, 72 grams of methamphetamine, and 147 grams of narcotics, safeguarding both Tyndall and Kirtland Air Force Bases. Mead led the unit’s Narcotics Identification Kit training, where he evaluated 15 Defenders; his efforts led to the detection and seizure of three weapons and four methamphetamines at the base’s entry control point. Additionally, he coordinated joint canine training with six state agencies, where he trained 25 handlers on 82 tasks, which led to 32 tactics, techniques, and procedures being adopted by those agencies, cutting training deficiencies by 20%.
U.S. Air Force Maj. Daniel Beaudoin, 377th Security Forces Squadron commander, said, “I’m not surprised. We’re very proud of our two selectees. They are both deserving, and passionate about the security of Kirtland Air Force Base and everyone on it.”
The insurance company’s website provides history and context for the awards:
“Since 1988, GEICO has conducted the GEICO Military Service Award Program, recognizing and thanking one enlisted member from each service and one enlisted member from the National Guard. Each is selected for their work in one of these areas of endeavor:
- Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention
- Fire Safety and Fire Prevention
- Traffic Safety and Accident Prevention
These exceptional enlisted men and women are recognized for their dedication and commitment to volunteer service in both their military and civilian communities.”