442d maintainer recognized by Exercise Tiger Foundation Published Feb. 11, 2021 By Staff Sgt. Kristin Cerri 442d Fighter Wing Public Affairs COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The Exercise Tiger Association invited selected servicemen and -women to Columbia, Missouri, to attend an awards ceremony during the presentation of colors and the national anthem prior to a Missouri Tigers football game December 12, 2020, at the University of Missouri - Columbia. Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Neckels, the weapons expediter for the 358th Fighter Squadron, was among those selected for this year’s “Adopt a Serviceman'' program. During the awards ceremony he received the Distinguished Warrior Award from the Exercise Tiger Foundation. As a weapons expediter, Neckels leads a Total-Force-Integrated team who maintain and load weapons for the A-10 Thunderbolt II, ensuring the aircraft’s warfighting capability. Neckles was selected for this honor due to his efforts in ensuring successful deployments of weapons troops to various locations. Additionally, Neckles served as a Green Dot instructor and coordinator for the 442d Fighter Wing. “It was an honor to be selected for the award, especially with the historical significance behind the original Exercise Tiger and its effect on the state of Missouri and local community,” Neckles said. The ETA is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring military members. With one chapter of the organization based in Missouri, ETA works with the local community to recognize service members annually through the “Adopt a Serviceman” program.