SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD)– Three Airmen from the 126th Air Refueling Wing earned top honors from the Illinois Air National Guard, including one from Peoria, during its Outstanding Airmen of the Year ceremony, on Jan. 7, at the Illinois State Military Museum in Springfield.

According to an Illinois National Guard press release, Erik Kamphouy, Marcus Lollis, and Jacob Lider were honored at the ceremony.

The 182nd Airlift Wing’s Senior Airman Erik Kamphouy was named the Outstanding Airman of the 182nd Airlift Wing based in Peoria in late 2022. Kamphouy is an information technology specialist with the 182nd Airlift Wing.

The 126th Air Refueling Wing’s Master Sgt. Marcus Lolllis was named the Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer of the Illinois Air National Guard. Lollis was named the Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer of the 126th Air Refueling Wing based on Scott Air Force Base in late 2022. Lollis is an integrated flight control system specialist with the 126th Air Refueling Wing.

The 126th Air Refueling Wing’s Master Sgt. Jacob Lider was named the Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer of the Illinois Air National Guard. Lollis was named the Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer of the 126th Air Refueling Wing based on Scott Air Force Base in late 2022. Lollis is an integrated flight control system specialist with the 126th Air Refueling Wing.

Other members of the 182nd Airlift Wing based in Peoria also had several accolades:

  • Technical Sgt. Jamie Mahan of Chatham was named the Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer. Mahan is an administrative assistant at the 182nd Airlift Wing.
  • Master Sgt. Benjamin Graser of Bethalto was named the Outstanding Senior Noncommissioned Officer Graser is the Chief of Weapons and Tactics for the wing.
  • Master Sgt. Dawn Tavenner of Paxton was named the Outstanding First Sergeant Tavenner is the first sergeant of the 264th Combat Communications Squadron and the full-time Chief of Information Protection for the 182nd Airlift Wing.

“I couldn’t be more proud of these Airmen; they represent the best of the best.” said Maj. Gen. Rich Neely, The Adjutant General of Illinois and Commander of the Illinois National Guard, during the ceremony. “I’d like each one of you to go home and thank your families as well. None of us could do our jobs without their support and understanding. Please personally thank them for me as well.”

“Events like today, recognizing the incredible work of these Airmen, keep me humble when I read the outstanding and amazing accomplishments of each one of these Airmen over the past year.” said Brig. Gen. Dan McDonough, the Assistant Adjutant General – Air of the Illinois National Guard and Commander of the Illinois Air National Guard.

Individual photos of any of the Outstanding Airmen are available upon request by calling 217-761-3569 or by e-mail at ng.il.ilarng.list.staff-pao@army.mil.

For more information about military service in the Illinois Air National Guard, please contact MSgt Travis Littig at 217-971-2764 or email at travis.littig@us.af.mil.