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Virginia Air Guard groups recognized with AF Outstanding Unit Award
Staff Sgt. Christopher A. Stacklin, Airman 1st Class Darby J. Ryan and Staff Sgt. Greg K. Wills, Virginia Air National Guard 192nd Fighter Wing F-22 Raptor weapons loaders, conduct an inspection on a Universal Ammunition Loading System at Langley Air Force Base, Va., Jan. 26, 2012. The 192nd Maintenance and Operations Groups each recently received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for their accomplishments over the past two years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Carlos Claudio/Released)
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Virginia Air Guard groups earn Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

Posted 2/7/2012   Updated 2/7/2012 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Meaghan E. M. Selki
192nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

2/7/2012 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. -- The 192nd Maintenance and Operations Groups received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Jan. 20 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 initiative.

"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 Virginia 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."

"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," said Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt, III, Air National Guard director.

The operations group is a key participant across many areas of operation, including 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. About 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 approximately 40 F-22 aircraft. In one year, their efforts nearly doubled the mission capability rate, resulting in a 23 percent increase in war-ready pilots.

Additionally, the rapid response of both the operations and maintenance groups during Hurricane Irene in August 2011 was unprecedented. In the middle of the aircraft's five-month stand-down, the hurricane forced maintenance to launch approximately 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.

"We couldn't have accomplished it without the 1st Fighter Wing," said Col. Robert J. Grey, Jr., the 192nd MXG commander. "We need to remember and praise our partners in all this. It's a marriage. 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," said Col. David R. Nardi, the 192nd OG commander. "Their performance every single day, alongside our active duty partners, stands out and is exceptional."

Beyond the gates of Langley, these citizen Airmen provide thousands of hours of their time in support of various volunteer efforts and local charities, including the March of Dimes, Hampton Roads Salvation Army, Virginia Animal Aid Society, Habitat for Humanity. Community involvement is a cornerstone in the role of an Air 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," Grey said. "We don't seek glory and fame. We're just trying to accomplish the mission. But it is nice to get recognition sometimes."

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