22nd Operations Support Squadron Airman earns spotlight performer

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Trevor Rhynes
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
As a spotlight performer, individuals are chosen by leadership for demonstrating the Air Force's Core Values: Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do.

Airman 1st Class Joshua Vander-Heyden, 22nd Operations Support Squadron air traffic controller, was selected as the spotlight performer for the week of July 6 through 12.

Vander-Heyden, a Tucson, Arizona native, joined the Air Force in September 2012 and has been a member of Team McConnell since April 2013.

As an air traffic controller, he tracks and maintains McConnell's airspace, issues safety alerts and disseminates weather.

"Since Vander-Heyden's arrival to the Air Force and McConnell he has been a role model to his peers and has excelled as an Airman in his career field," said Lt. Col. Brian Backman, 22nd OSS commander. "He has excelled in his job as a tower air traffic controller and never missed a beat when it came to capturing an opportunity to train or improve himself, teammates or the unit."

Who is the most positive influence in your life and why?
Mr. Creith is a family friend who I completed an internship with at while he worked at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. He encouraged me to join the Air Force and work on my schooling and career as main focuses in my life.

If you could give advice to a new Airman, what would it be and why? 
I would tell the new Airman to focus on your job, and goals and remember why you are here. Being in the U.S. Air Force and having a job as an air traffic controller, or whatever your contribution is, is just a small piece of the bigger mission at hand.

What is one goal that you have already accomplished, or would like to accomplish, during your Air Force career?
The goals I most recently completed were becoming a rated air traffic controller, and I was selected for senior airman below the zone.

Where is the most interesting place you have traveled and why do you feel that way?
Palm Springs, California was the most interesting place I have travelled to so far. I like the beach and the community in that area.

If you had the opportunity to meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
If I had the opportunity to meet anyone in the world, I would like to meet George W. Bush Jr. It would be an honor to sit down and talk to the former President and see what it takes to become president.