FOR THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
Lt. Fleming Thompson of Tarboro is the recipient of the United States Air Force 23rd Bomb Squadron Navigator of the Year Award for 2012. This award represents his stellar work throughout the year, both at home and while deployed to Andersen Air Force base on Guam.
Last year Thompson was instrumental in one of the 5th Bomb Wing's most significant efforts. He planned and helped direct The 23rd Bomb Squadron's tri-service, multi-national Close Air Support exercise, Operation COLD SNAP. Thompson coordinated training for 22 B-52 flights and eight simulator rides. During this training, bomber aircrew interacted with ground controllers in a dynamic environment that required the identification and destruction of static and moving targets using the Advanced Targeting Pod. As a result, the 5th Bomb Wing increased its number of targeting pod-trained aircrew by more than 300 percent and saved over $2.6 million in the process. This training effort was so successful that Maj. Gen. Stephen Wilson, 8th Air Force Commander, personally recognized Thompson and his teammates for their innovation and hard work at the 2012 Air Force Global Strike Symposium at Barksdale Air Force Base. Thompson, son of Ricky and Kay Thompson, is a 2005 Graduate of Tarboro High School and 2009 Graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, where he was in the USAF ROTC.