Staff Sgt. Peter Kuykendall, Andersen Air Force Base Fire and Emergency Services, was named the 2018 Navy Military Firefighter of the Year. (Courtesy photo)
Staff Sgt. Peter Kuykendall, Andersen Air Force Base Fire and Emergency Services, was named the 2018 Navy Military Firefighter of the Year. (Courtesy photo)

Guam Airman named 2018 Navy Military Firefighter of the Year

by JoAnna Delfin
Joint Region Marianas

The partnership between the Navy and Air Force in Guam was made evident by the selection of Staff Sgt. Peter Kuykendall as the 2018 Navy Military Firefighter of the Year.

Assigned to Andersen Air Force Base Fire and Emergency Services, which falls under Joint Region Marianas Fire and Emergency Services, Kuykendall said he was honored to be nominated and humbled to receive the award, as he competed against 3,400 other firefighters for the recognition.

“Every day I dedicate myself to the community at Andersen Air Force Base, the civilians of Guam, and my fellow firefighters,” he said. “It’s motivation to learn and to continue to improve myself and others as an Airman and firefighter for Joint Region Marianas.”

The annual award recognizes accomplishments, technical competence, leadership ability, initiative, and resourcefulness. It also identifies an active duty, reserve or National Guard military firefighter for a superior job performance and outstanding contributions.

“SSgt. Kuykendall showed superb leadership and dedication to the Andersen Fire and Emergency Services Flight in 2018,” said Stanley Torres, Andersen Air Force Base Installation fire chief. “His consistent leadership style coupled with remaining calm during stressful incidents ensured that he built a trustworthy relationship with the community he serves. He stands fast to assist in the launching and recovery of aircraft 24 hours a day, seven days of week ensuring that our warfighters are taken care of and return home to their family each day.”

In 2018, Kuykendall provided fire and emergency support, and protection to 8,000 personnel, 66 million gallons of fuel storage and sustained nine squadrons, bombers, tankers and fighters. He also supported Exercise COPE NORTH 2018 as crew chief on 10 in-flight emergencies, and facilitated multi-national operations and joint sorties, among other accomplishments.

He thanked the Andersen AFB Fire Department, his team and supervisors for helping him achieve the award, and encouraged fellow firefighters to continue their hard work and dedication for to and for the community.

“We are in a career field where there is an endless amount of knowledge to obtain,” he said. “Be motivated and trust your leaders; we have an amazing group of firefighters, so I know that every single one of them is more than capable of achieving this award.”

Kuykendall will compete against firefighters from other military branches at the Department of Defense level later this year.

Also recognized for their service to navy firefighting were three individuals from U.S. Naval Base Guam who were named runners-up in their respective categories – James Scribner, Navy Civilian Fire Officer of the Year; Rommel Magan, Navy EMS Provider of the Year; and Bethany Bolt, Navy Fire Inspector of the Year.

Presented by Commander, Navy Installations Command, the Navy Fire & Emergency Services awards program was instituted in 1997. Nominees are selected based on criteria developed by the DoD F&ES working group, which is composed of the chiefs of the service components' respective F&ES programs.

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