Aug. 5, 2004 – His work is very challenging and requires a lot of travel. And he will willingly take on the role of a single parent when his wife, Esther, gets deployed to Southwest Asia later this year. But Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Trace "Paie" L. Edinborough enjoys life's challenges and has just been recognized for how well he meets them.
The down-to-earth father of two who grew up on St. Croix has been named by the U.S. Air Force as one of its 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year. He received the award based on his superior leadership, job performance, community involvement and personal achievements.
Edinborough, 38, graduated from Central High School in 1984. The son of Clyde "James" Edinborough, who lives in St. Thomas, and Marilyn "Laurel" Josiah, the career military man is stationed in Philadelphia.
"Wow! What more needs to be said?" was Edinborough's reaction to the recognition, according to a release from the Air Force.
"Being named one of the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year is a tremendous personal honor and humbling experience for me and for my family," he said. "This award is truly a team effort that recognizes the contributions that we have made here at the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, as well as my involvement with the Defense Logistics Agency Contingency Support Team and the U.S. Air Force."
The airmen were chosen from 45 nominees from major commands, direct reporting units and air staff agencies. During the Air Force National Convention later this year, Edinborough and the 11 other honorees will be awarded the Outstanding Airman ribbon with the Bronze Service Star device and will wear the Outstanding Airman badge for one year from the date of formal presentation.
Edinborough was born on St. Kitts and grew up there and on St. Croix. An 18-year Air Force veteran, he currently is superintendent for Joint Weapon System Support/Wholesale Logistics in DSCP's general and industrial directorate. He computes worldwide requirements and manages wholesale stock posture for $2.3 billion worth of inventory.
While deployed to Southwest Asia, he served as superintendent of the Defense Logistics Agency, developing supply support strategies that led to a 23 percent improvement in support. He also oversaw $523 million in Operation Iraqi Freedom requisitions that supported some 34 weapons systems and 85,000 sorties.
Edinborough also organized support for Operation Stand Down, Pennsylvania's largest outreach program for homeless veterans, which has served more than 3,500 veterans. He also counseled teen-agers in drug and alcohol abuse and pregnancy prevention programs, mentored teens at a youth home and helped to raise money for a children's cancer research hospital.
Edinborough's wife also is in the military, but he said that neither of their children has any interest in pursuing a military career, at least not yet.
"Both of my children are very bright but Andre, who is 12, is a singer and wants to be in the entertainment field and an electronic engineer," he said. "My daughter, Anastasia, is only 7, but she's the academician; she's definitely Ivy League material In fact they both are, if they continue doing what they're doing."
Edinborough said he's okay with his wife's four-month deployment to Southwest Asia that's scheduled to begin in September. She's a master sergeant assigned to the 305th Contracting Squadron at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey.
"It's natural to worry anytime someone deploys to a potentially hostile environment, especially a spouse," he said. "But we willingly signed up to serve this nation; no promises were made about where the assignments would be. We are true believers in Psalm 23. Shell be fine."
Army Brig. Gen. Raymond V. Mason, commander of the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, said it's Edinborough's performance that set him apart from his peers.
"From his deployment as the superintendent of the Defense Logistics Agency's Contingency Support Team during Operation Iraqi Freedom to his unwavering commitment to his community, the one constant has been his performance," Mason said. "He is a top-notch airman who significantly contributes to national defense, and DSCP is very proud and fortunate that one of ours was chosen as one of the best of the best worldwide by the U.S. Air Force."
DSCP annually buys and supplies about $10.4 billion worth of food, clothing, textiles, medicines, medical equipment, general and industrial supplies and services for America's war fighters, their eligible dependents and other non-Defense Department customers.
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