DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. – Lloyd Johnson, 94th Operations Group meteorologist technician, was surprised when he learned from the wing commander recently that he had been awarded Air Force Reserve Command Weather Civilian of the Year.
“I didn’t think they were putting me in for a (major command) award,” said Johnson. “I had no idea until the general showed up and I thought he must have come by for a weather briefing.”
Instead of a typical briefing, Brig. Gen. Richard Kemble, 94th Airlift Wing commander, presented Johnson with a letter from AFRC announcing Johnson as this year’s weather civilian of the year. Johnson has been forecasting weather for Dobbins since 2004.
As an Air Force veteran with 26 years of service, Johnson is no stranger to winning Air Force awards, but this is the first he’s won as a civilian.
“I try to take initiative whenever there’s an issue that needs to be solved or if there’s anything someone needs help with, I try to step in and help out.”
This desire to help others goes beyond his duties as a weather forecaster to include assisting with writing duty schedules and tracking personal leave. Managing duty schedules is vital to the small weather shop on base where only one person can be on leave at a time, said Johnson. This can be challenging to balance work schedules with requests to attend birthdays or go on family vacations.
“We’re trying to juggle all that,” he said. “It’s a morale issue too because we work rotating shifts so we make sure no one works too many days or too many swing shifts. Too many day shifts you’re working too hard, too many swings and you’re not getting enough experience, or if you’re working nights, you’re away from your spouse.”
Getting these schedules balanced is also highly important to the wing’s mission, as a number of operations depend on information the weather shop provides.
“When aircrews go and fly to the drop zones in Rome or Augusta, they come here first and we give them the information they have to put into the computers so they can decide what angle they want to attack their target or release their personnel or equipment so it lands on time and on target.”
Johnson is humble about winning the award, and believes the award is a reflection not only on his work ethic, but that of his fellow weather team members as well.
“There are a lot of good folks here who do a lot of good work.”
Johnson said he is proud to work with such a great team.