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​SMSgt. Andrew J. Kehl. Courtesy photo via AFA.

​SMSgt. Andrew J. Kehl is one of the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2019, an award recognizing airmen for superior leadership, job performance, community involvement, and personal achievement over the preceding 12 months. The 12 Airmen of the Year will be formally recognized at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference Sept. 16-18 in National Harbor, Md.

Duty Title: Deputy Fire Chief

Organization: 99th Civil Engineer Squadron, , Nellis AFB, Nev.

Home of Record: Indio, Calif.

SMSgt. Kehl led 124 firefighters at the busiest airfield in the command, providing command and control capabilities for 1,400 emergencies. While leading the best training program in the wing, he secured 624 manpower days to support America’s largest multi-nation exercises. As the Air Force’s Innovator of the Year, he built a standardized business platform to conduct all daily fire operations at 47 bases, eliminating 80 percent rework and setting the stage for the first-ever fire department vehicle standardization project.  He pioneered an expeditionary tasking aid, syncing available posturing to 99 multinational personnel at three areas of responsibility in support of 1,200 combat sorties. Simultaneously, he finished his master’s degree in organizational leadership and published a 287-page book on enlisted force growth.