Outstanding Unit Award recognizes 192nd Fighter Wing Maintenance and Operations Groups

Staff Sgt. Christopher A. Stacklin, Airman First Class Darby J. Ryan and Staff Sgt. Greg K. Wills, 192nd Fighter Wing, Virginia Air National Guard F-22 Raptor weapons loaders, 27th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, conduct an inspection on a Universal Ammunition Loading System, Langley Air Force Base, Va., January 26, 2012. The Maintenance and Operations Groups of the 192nd Fighter Wing were each recently selected to receive an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for their accomplishments over the past two years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Carlos Claudio)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. — The Maintenance and Operations Groups of the 192nd Fighter Wing were each selected for an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for their accomplishments over the past two years. The groups are being recognized as a result of consistent, high-level performance, dedication to the mission, and the ability to thrive as a classic association with the 1st Fighter Wing in today’s total force construct.

“The Airmen of the 192nd Fighter Wing have been on the cutting edge of air combat power as the first Air National Guard unit to fly the F-22 Raptor, and these two units being recognized is a result of their technical expertise, hard work and dedicated service,” said Gov. Bob McDonnell. “We continue to be extremely pleased by the outstanding achievements of the Virginia National Guard, and I know we can continue to expect great things from the Virginia Air Guard as they work side-by-side with the active Air Force at Langley Air Force Base.”

The announcement of the unit’s selection came Jan. 20 from Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt, III, director of the Air National Guard. “Each winner is commended for having been selected from an outstanding group of nominees, and the dedication and commitment of the members of these organizations enable the Air National Guard to fulfill its commitment to the missions of peacekeeping, humanitarian relief, domestic involvement, and most important of all, defense of the United States,” Wyatt wrote in the announcement letter.

“We couldn’t have accomplished it without the 1st Fighter Wing,” said maintenance group commander Col. Robert J. Grey, Jr. “We need to remember and praise our partners in all this. It’s a marriage. And it doesn’t succeed without your partner.”

“In our total force environment, our people are some of the most experienced and respected operators and instructors.  Their performance every single day, alongside our active duty partners, stands out and is exceptional,” said Operations Group Commander Col. David R. Nardi.

The operations group is a key participant across many areas of operation. The OG supported multiple deployments and ensured security along the Pacific and in Southwest Asia. The intelligence squadron, a growing component of the group, participates daily in today’s fights in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 30 intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance personnel from the Group are engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan, saving lives and accomplishing mission objectives each day.

The maintenance group, together with their TFI partners, ensures sortie production, repairs and employment readiness of 40 F-22 aircraft. In one year, their efforts almost doubled the mission capability rate, resulting in a 23% increase in war-ready pilots.

Additionally, the rapid response of both the operations and maintenance groups to Hurricane Irene was unprecedented. In the middle of the aircraft’s five-month stand-down, the hurricane forced Maintenance to launch all 28 aircraft, marking the largest deployment of F-22s in the aircraft’s history. All jets were airborne in less than 30 hours, even after having been on the ground for three months.

A recent Air Combat Command Operational Readiness Inspection yielded excellent and outstanding ratings in every area for the Operations Group. Maintenance also received an excellent rating – the best performance by a maintenance group across 10 ACC fighter and bomber wings.

Beyond the gates of Langley, these citizen Airmen provide thousands of hours of their time in support of various volunteer efforts and local charities, such as: March of Dimes, Hampton Roads Salvation Army, Virginia Animal Aid Society, Habitat for Humanity, and many more. Community involvement is a cornerstone in the role of an Air National Guardsman.

“The recognition of the Airmen of the OG makes every member of the group proud. Our citizen Airmen maintain constant readiness and step up every day to meet the needs of the Commonwealth and the nation. For the Air Force to recognize this is well-deserved and an honor for our people and our group,” said Nardi.

“I’m very proud of what they’ve done …They are the quiet professionals. They don’t seek to receive recognition … We don’t seek glory and fame. We’re just trying to accomplish the mission. But it is nice to get recognition sometimes,” said Grey.

About the Groups
The 192nd Operations Group is comprised of 174 Airmen providing control of the Air, Global Strike and persistent Global ISR for the nation and defense support to civil authority capabilities for the Commonwealth.

The 192nd Maintenance Group is comprised of 445 maintainers responsible for equipment and aircraft maintenance, ensuring sortie production, repairs and employment readiness of 40 F-22 aircraft together with the 1st Fighter Wing.

About the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Background: The Air Force Outstanding Unit Award was authorized by Department of the Air Force General Order 1, Jan. 6, 1954.

Criteria: It is awarded by the secretary of the Air Force to numbered units that have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service or outstanding achievement that clearly sets the unit above and apart from similar units. The services include; performance of exceptionally meritorious service, accomplishment of a specific outstanding achievement of national or international significance, combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States, or military operations involving conflict with or exposure to hostile actions by an opposing foreign force.

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