Friday, November 21, 2014

TOP STORY >> Award is given to wing

The 19th Airlift Wing has been awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for exceptionally meritorious service from August 2012 through last July.

The wing and all supporting groups and squadrons contributed to the success of the award by performing peacetime and wartime missions at their best.

The 19th Airlift Wing is the world’s largest C-130 wing and base in the Department of Defense and is includes four groups, 21 squadrons and 17 staff agencies.

The 19th Airlift Wing continues to carry out missions in Afghanistan and the Middle East, where it’s been active since soon after the terrorist attacks in September 2001.

From supporting the combat airlift mission around the world, disaster relief efforts, unit effectiveness inspections and presidential visits and air shows, the 19th AW has been recognized for excellence in all they do and for contributing significantly to the Department of Defense’s and the Air Force’s overall mission readiness.

“I am extremely proud of you, your hard work and all of the amazing things you accomplish every day,” said Col. Patrick Rhatigan, 19th AW commander. “I’m thrilled that many outside of our organization have noticed your extraordinary efforts as well.”

The Outstanding Unit Award is awarded to any Air Force unit — including the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard — that performs exceptionally meritorious service, accomplishes specific acts of outstanding achievement, excels in combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States, or conducts with distinct military operations involving conflict with, or exposure to, a hostile action by any opposing foreign force.

The Air Force Historical Foundation also recently presented its James H. Doolittle Award to the 19th AW for its contribution to airpower for more than 80 years.

In giving the award, the foundation noted that the 19th Airlift Wing “has displayed gallantry, determination and esprit de corps while accomplishing its mission under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions in multiple conflicts, and thus has made a sustained, significant contribution to Air Force history.” The 19th AW, also known as the Black Knights, arrived at Little Rock Air Force Base in 2008 and flies the all-new C-130Js in the Global War on Terror.

The wing is part of Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Air Force Base.