155th Air Refueling Wing Receives 10th Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

  • Published
  • By Maj. Kevin Hynes
  • 155th ARW
The Nebraska Air National Guard's 155th Air Refueling Wing has been named a recipient of the 2009 Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. This marks the 10th time that the Lincoln-based organization has earned the award in its 64-year history.

The 155th Air Refueling Wing is one of only 14 Air National Guard wings from across the United States to earn the award this year.

"The competition was extremely keen and each winner is commended for having been selected from an outstanding group of nominees," said Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, director of the Air National Guard in making this year's award announcement. "The dedication and commitment of the members of these organizations enable the Air National Guard to fulfill its commitment to the missions of peace keeping, humanitarian relief, domestic improvement and, most important of all, defense of America."

In earning the award, its first since 2007, the 155th Air Refueling Wing was commended for a number of accomplishments including:

 800-plus members of the 900-member unit filled Operation Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom air expeditionary force tasking to over 40 locations worldwide.

 Flew 5,700-plus hours on operational training, 1,200 hours of which were combat or combat-support missions for Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Additionally, 155th Air Refueling Wing volunteer crews flew 225 combat hours to and from Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, supporting high-risk medical evacuation missions.

 Transported more than 270 Nebraska Army and Air National Guardsmen to and from Louisiana during the Hurricane Gustav relief effort.

 Supported numerous national combat and homeland security exercises.

 Participated in the "Beyond the Horizon" humanitarian mission to Honduras in 2008, providing medical and dental support to local Honduran citizens.

 Maintained 100 percent or greater personnel end strength for the entire period.

The 155th Air Refueling Wing was also lauded for its performance during recent Air National Guard evaluations and U.S. Air Force operational readiness inspections and its work in helping other KC-135R Stratotanker units upgrade to modernized navigation systems. Also noted were the unit's family support and energy conservation programs and its level of community involvement.

The unit was also recognized for its flying and ground safety efforts, having recently surpassed more than 115,000 hours of Class A mishap-free flying.

According to Col. Rick Evans, commander of the 155th Air Refueling Wing, the unit is honored to be able to add another award to its already long and distinguished record of achievements and outstanding service to state and nation.

In his announcement to the unit, Colonel Evans noted that "while this is a team award it is enabled by the pride, dedication and purposeful service of each unit member." He added that "the 155th has once again lived up to its motto of "Ready and Able," proving that it is among the very best units in the entire U.S. Air Force.