Ohio National Guard News


164th Weather Flight Airman
freezes competition to earn national award

By Bill Pierce, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

Ohio National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Zachary Wintgens

Maj. Gen. Mark Bartman (left), Ohio assistant adjutant general for Air, presents the 2013 Headquarters United States Air Force Air Reserve Component Weather Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year award to Master Sgt. Johnny Hobbs, of the 164th Weather Flight, Oct. 5, 2014, at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Columbus, Ohio. Hobbs was selected over several other candidates throughout the worldwide Air Force weather career field.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (10/05/14) — Master Sgt. John “Johnny” Hobbs, a member of the Ohio Air National Guard’s 164th Weather Flight, has been chosen as the 2013 Headquarters U.S. Air Force Reserve Component Weather Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.

Hobbs said he considers earning the award — among his peers from the worldwide military weather community — as his top achievement in his Air Force career to date.

Hobbs joined the Ohio Air National Guard after finding an advertisement in his college newspaper announcing an opening in the weather flight at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base. “At the time, I was enrolled in the meteorology program at The Ohio State University,” Hobbs said. “With my prior active-duty service and knowing that my training in the weather career field in the military would surpass anything that Ohio State could offer, I enlisted.”

While his award nomination submission package included his accomplishments with his unit, and his personal and professional development enabled him to be competitive, Hobbs said it was his six-month deployment in 2013 under the 19th Expeditionary Weather Squadron, in east-central Afghanistan while attached to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division from Fort Drum, N.Y., that gave him the “hard-hitting impacts,” or experiential accomplishments, which helped earn him the award. “As a drill status (traditional) guardsman, it’s often difficult to come up with hard-hitting impacts when performing your normal weekend and annual training,” Hobbs said.

When he first enlisted in the weather career field, Hobbs learned that there was more to the job than what he originally envisioned. Hobbs said he expected analyzing weather data and putting together a forecast would be the whole job, but never realized how critical the mission would be in supporting Army operations. His last 75-90 days of training was with an active-duty Army-support weather unit where Hobbs honed his skills and prepared himself further for Army support missions. “Looking back at my years in weather, I would say it has been the most exciting, demanding and fulfilling part of my job,” said Hobbs.