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EPME instructor honored on Veteran's Day

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Master Sgt. Keith M. Cavanaugh, center, a senior instructor at the Paul H. Lankford Professional Military Education Center at McGhee Tyson ANGB, is recognized by the East Tennessee Military Affairs Council for outstanding service during the 28th Annual Veteran's Day Awards and Recognition luncheon at the Foundry on the World's Fair site here, Nov. 11, 2010.  Also pictured are (L) Gen. Craig R. McKinley, Chief, National Guard Bureau, and (R) Col. Richard B. Howard, commander of The I.G. Brown Air National Training and Education Center.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kurt Skoglund/Released)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Master Sgt. Keith M. Cavanaugh, center, a senior instructor at the Paul H. Lankford Professional Military Education Center, with Gen. Craig R. McKinley, Chief, National Guard Bureau, left, and Col. Richard B. Howard, commander of The I.G. Brown Air National Training and Education Center, right, is recognized by the East Tennessee Military Affairs Council for outstanding service during the 28th Annual Veteran's Day Awards and Recognition luncheon at the Foundry on the World's Fair site here, Nov. 11, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kurt Skoglund/Released)

McGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. -- A member of The I.G. Brown Air National Guard Training and Education Center here was recognized by the East Tennessee Military Affairs Council (ETMAC) for outstanding service at the 28th Annual Veteran's Day Awards and Recognition luncheon in Knoxville, Nov. 11.

Master Sgt. Keith M. Cavanaugh, a senior instructor with the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center, was honored for 'outstanding service to the national defense of our country and to the community in which we live.'

"When ETMAC asked us to nominate a deserving NCO for recognition," said Col. Richard B. Howard, commander of the Training and Education Center. "Master Sergeant Cavanaugh was the unanimous choice of our senior leaders as one who stands out in a crowd of extremely talented and dedicated NCOs."

ETMAC is a non-profit organization that was founded to recognize, encourage, support and advocate military activities in East Tennessee.

Each year on Veteran's Day, ETMAC and the Knoxville community gather to show their appreciation for those who have served.

"I'm honored," said Cavanaugh, who was one of 13 enlisted servicemembers from area military organizations who were recognized.

The event, which followed the Veteran's Day parade in downtown Knoxville, was held at the Foundry on the World's Fair Site. It was attended by more than 500 current military members, veterans, and guests.

"To be among the war veterans and our counterparts from the other services was amazing...and to hear their accomplishments and be categorized with them was a great honor," said Cavanaugh.

As a senior enlisted professional military education instructor, Cavanaugh manages a staff of 15 flight instructors responsible for educating Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, and U.S. Coast Guard students at the center's Noncommissioned Officer Academy.

His guidance and direction ensures the Training and Education Center meets the Air Force's objective to prepare enlisted Airmen for increased leadership and management responsibilities.

"His energetic, enthusiastic, and engaged leadership style ensures that our team of instructors synergize in the training of nearly 2,000 troops annually," said Howard. ""He's a major factor in the many successes of TEC's schoolhouse mission."

Cavanaugh joined the staff of the TEC in 2009, along with 14 other active duty Air Force members, to support a partnership that was established to provide a shared common experience for Total Air Force enlisted members.

Cavanaugh began his military career in 1993, as an Aircraft Armament Systems Technician. During assignments to Moody Air Force Base, Ga., Kunsan Air Base, Korea, and Tyndall AFB, Fla., he filled numerous key positions in his career field and deployed to King Abdulaziz Air Base, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Southern Watch.

He has been honored for achievement numerous times in his career.

Just a few of his many awards include recognition as both the 325th Operations Support Squadron Maintenance Professional of the Year and the Operations Support Squadron Airman of the Year, in 1999; the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez Outstanding Munitions and Missile Maintenance Technician/Supervisor of the Year, in 2007; and both the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group Senior NCO Maintenance Professional of the Year, and the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez Outstanding Munitions Missile Maintenance Technician/Supervisor of the Year, in 2008.

But of all the awards he has received, Cavanaugh said, the ETMAC award is the most important to him.

"This is by far the top award I've ever received." He said. "For leadership to nominate me against a class act group of people here...the staff is second to none...that's a true honor."