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Captain claims Air Force level award

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Capt. Tara Mercado, 4th Manpower Requirements Squadron flight commander and manpower analyst, was recently awarded Force Support Company Grade Officer of the Year for Air Force Space Command's 2008 A1 Annual Awards.  (Courtesy photo)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Capt. Tara Mercado, 4th Manpower Requirements Squadron flight commander and manpower analyst, was recently awarded Force Support Company Grade Officer of the Year for Air Force Space Command's 2008 A1 Annual Awards. (Courtesy photo)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- A 4th Manpower Requirements Squadron captain was recently awarded Force Support Company Grade Officer of the Year for the Air Force 2008 A1 Annual Awards. 

Capt. Tara Mercado, 4th MRS flight commander and manpower analyst, is extremely proud to be recognized. 

"The award is an unexpected honor," Captain Mercado, a prior enlisted Army parachute rigger, said. "I feel that this recognition is shouldered by many." 

Captain Mercado feels this award is a tribute to the outstanding professionals, technical experts, leaders, peers and friends who have worked alongside her during her career in the Air Force. 

"We are very proud of Captain Mercado, she is an extraordinary officer," said Lt. Col. Guillermo Palos, 4th MRS Commander. 

She manages the squadron's largest Air Force Space Command Capabilities Based Manpower Studies effecting over 12,000 requirements valued at $77 million. She uses management engineering techniques to identify the minimum essential manpower required to most effectively and efficiently accomplish the work center's mission. 

"Essentially we help the Air Force get the most 'bang for the buck,'" she says. 

Just returning from a five-month deployment as the Air Force's Manpower Chief and preparing to move on to her next assignment to Maxwell AFB, Ala., she says her time spent here with the 4th MRS has been a very rewarding experience. 

"Captain Mercado has proven herself to be a knowledgeable manpower officer and project manager," Colonel Palos said. "She has a bright and rewarding military career in front of her."
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