by Staff Sgt. Jason Colbert
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
1/30/2012 - LUKE AIR FORCE BASE -- The spotlight shined Saturday as the 56th Fighter Wing Annual Awards banquet honored the best and brightest of Luke Air Force Base's Airmen who have earned distinction throughout 2011. The ceremony was held at the Wigwam Resort and Spa in Litchfield Park.
There were 11 award categories for Airmen and civilian employees who were recognized for their hard work and excellence.
"I've said that the Airmen of the United States Air Force are among the best the country has to offer," said Lt. Gen. Robin Rand, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) commander and guest speaker at the night's events. "Now I want to commend the annual awards nominees of the 56th Fighter Wing, the best of the best Luke has to offer."
He went on to thank the family members, commanders, chiefs and supervisors of the nominees.
"They gave 100 percent in their job, community and for the base," said Master Sgt. Edward Keenan, 56th Force Support Squadron first sergeant and member of the annual awards committee. "By doing all those pieces, it set them up for success."
Rand recognized their humility, hard work and sacrifices by pointing out that many will "fidget when put under the spotlight, as if some undue attention had been given them."
"At the end of the day, American warriors fight for the person sitting to their left and the person sitting to their right," Rand said.
In his speech, Rand personally thanked the Airmen of "Fighter Country," calling them the best among all Americans.
"We are doing our job to the best of our ability for the Marine, the Soldier, the Sailor, and the Airman on the ground," said Rand. "No more. No less. To me, that is the true essence of what it means to be part of the band of brothers."