Hagåtña, Guam – Governor Lou Leon Guerrero joined in congratulating recipients of the 2021 Guam Missile Defense of the Year Award on Thursday at the United Service Organization (USO) on Andersen Air Force Base in Yigo. Flanked by local military leaders from the Guam National Guard, Joint Region Marianas, and 36th Wing of the Andersen Air Force Base, Governor Leon Guerrero presented certificates to the recipients who were recognized by the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA) for their high performance in the missile defense operations of Guam. Awardees included Sgt. Timothy Barcinas and Spc. John-Anthony Aguon of the Guam National Guard’s Task Force Fanacho, which is currently assigned to the missile defense operation in northern Guam.
“It was only a few years ago that our island was made aware of the pressing threat of a missile attack and reminded of the constant threat we face across international waters,” said Governor Leon Guerrero. “It has become a reality that we should be ever ready to respond to these potential threats. That is why our missile defense teams, in alignment with the capacity and capability of our Guam National Guard, stand ready to secure our island and ensure the safety of our people. Guam is the gateway of defense.”
“Our sons and daughters of Guam continue to provide the highest level of security that affords our military members a safe environment for their training and operations, and they also maintain protective measures that safeguard our people,” said Lieutenant Governor Josh Tenorio. “Sgt. Barcinas and Spc. Aguon have fulfilled the demands of commanding our island’s and our nation’s defense, and throughout their service, have displayed the performance, proficiency, and professionalism expected of our military’s finest. They have our thanks and our respect.”
The Missile Defense of the Year Award honors members of the military who command fully operational and deployed missile defense systems. Since 2011, the award has recognized a United States Armed Forces member from each branch that currently deploys a missile defense system for their outstanding work in the previous year. Riki Ellison founded MDAA in 2002 to generate public support through education for the continued testing, development, and deployment of missile defense systems. Ellison is also a former college and professional football linebacker who was the first New Zealander to play in the National Football League (NFL). He played ten seasons between the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Raiders.