354th OSS civilian wins Outstanding Aviation Resource Management of the Year award

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ricardo Sandoval

Christopher Gardner, 354th Operations Support Squadron Air Operations and Scheduling Specialist, was selected as the 2022 Outstanding Air Force Aviation Resource Management of the Year for civilian category II. 

Gardner is responsible for scheduling airspace utilization for the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex (JPARC) while compromising conflicting schedules in the JPARC, a 77,000 square mile training airspace.  Gardner also serves as a critical liaison between the Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure safe and effective air combat training.

“We ensure squadrons have the airspace needed in training to be the most lethal fighting force in the Air Force,” explained Gardner. “I orchestrate all things airspace for local flying and oversee the Wing flying hour program.”

While overseeing the Wing flying hour program, Gardner tracked and reported 16,214 flight hours totaling $423 million and choreographed airspace for five major exercises which maximized joint interoperability training for 13,000 personnel in the past year.

“Chris has great attention to detail,” said Master Sgt. Jason Villaruz, 354th OSS Host Aviation Resource Management superintendent. “His drive to be a master of his craft enabled him to become the subject matter expert on the Department of Defense’s premier airspace training venue with only just one year in the position.”

Gardner was active duty in the Army for eight years until February 2021.  Gardner served two of those years as a combat medic and the other six as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle operator while deploying twice. Gardner has volunteered 60 hours and mentored 24 squadron members on separation transition and disability benefits through Veterans Affairs. Gardner has been at Eielson since May 2021 before accomplishing this achievement.

“I was honestly shocked but I couldn’t do what I do without the support of the Aviation Resource Management Wing scheduling team I have surrounding me,” said Gardner. “They excel in a very dynamic and changing environment and are key in creating continuity, so we can continually improve processes.”