Capt. Peter Gruters, an intelligence officer overseeing bomber and tanker crews, has deployed four times to Iraq or Afghanistan over the past three years. His most prominent work was in support of Operation Mountain Lion, a spring 2006 sweep through the high-altitude Gardez and Khost regions of Afghanistan to clear out militants. Gruters aided more than 70 weapons drops - many of them satellite-guided bombs - in the mountainous provinces. He also re-engineered bomber and tanker shops to streamline processes and cut manpower.
At Robins, Gruters works intel for one of the Air Force's most specialized KC-135 cargo and refueling jet units. He also prepared a presentation of Afghan political history for aircraft maintenance and medical personnel.
Outside his military duties, Gruters has taken a 12-year-old Georgia boy under his wing through the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentorship program - and was recognized by the national organization with a "Heroes in Our Midst" award - all while continuing his deployment rotations.
Senior Master Sgt. Tony Levine is an on-base mentor and an off-base community leader. When not on duty, Levine walks drug-infested communities in Charleston with the Citizens' Patrol Against Drugs, a grass-roots activist group determined to reduce drug sales. He has also helped increase funding to improve low-income neighborhoods.
Levine mentors junior airmen and noncommissioned officers at Charleston Air Force Base. During a deployment to Qatar, his intelligence work assisted in the completion of nearly 800 combat missions and about 3,000 cargo deliveries.
Levine was also last year's Air Reserve Component Intelligence Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.