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1st FW recognized with Doolittle Award

By Airman 1st Class Anthony Nin Leclerec 633rd Air Base wing Public Affairs

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The Air Force Historical Foundation selected the 1st Fighter Wing as the 2018 recipient of the Lt. Gen. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle Award at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, Nov. 13, 2018.

The Doolittle Award is awarded annually to recognize an exceptional unit that has displayed bravery, determination, discipline, esprit de corps, and superior management of joint operations while accomplishing its mission under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions in multiple conflicts, thus having made a sustained, significant contribution to U.S. Air Force history. 

“There are a lot of awards given in the name of Jimmy Doolittle, but I think this one would be particularly important to my grandfather,” said Jonna Doolittle Hoppes, Doolittle Foundation executive director and granddaughter of Gen. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle. “He didn’t believe that it was ever done by one person, he always believed that it was everyone involved, so to honor an entire unit I think would touch his heart very, very dearly.”

According to Doolittle Hoppes, she feels that looking at the 1st FW’s illustrious history, she thinks her grandfather would be particularly proud to have this award go to them.

“Knowing what the Jimmy Doolittle award represents, it's a great feeling to realize that we were able to add to the 1st Fighter Wing's historical accomplishments,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Aaron Shaffer, 1st Maintenance Group lead crew member. “Being able to help maintain combat capability to the oldest active fighter squadron to date, the 27th Fighter Squadron, and the second oldest fighter squadron in America's history, the 94th Fighter Squadron, is a humbling feeling.”

The maintainers of the 1st FW set the standard for low observable and aircraft maintenance, both of which establish the unit as the most capable and combat ready F-22 Raptor wing in the Air Force.

“As America’s oldest Fighter Wing, our legacy is an important reminder to all of our Airmen as they accomplish the mission at home and while deployed,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Jason Hinds, 1st FW commander. “The 1st FW, like many others, had a busy 2017 with many ‘no fail’ missions from homeland defense, conducting operations against ISIS, and building readiness for the high-end fight. Our Airmen excelled in every aspect of their mission and being recognized by the Air Force Historical Foundation with the Doolittle Award lets our Airmen know that their hard work is recognized and appreciated.” 

According to Hinds, this achievement was possible due to the preparation Airmen put in every day, serving in the1st FW. The Airmen know they could be called to deploy at a moment’s notice to conduct combat operations anywhere in the world just as they were in the summer of 2017.Knowing they need to be ready now, they can’t wait for the call to action and then prepare to fight.

“The mission of the 1st Fighter Wing is to provide combatant commanders with F-22 Raptor airpower anywhere in the globe on short notice,” Hinds said. “That means ready and resilient Airmen and families, ready equipment, and ready F-22 Raptors. The 1st FW is ready thanks to the hard work of our Airmen and the support from their families.” 

This award in conjunction with the centennial celebration of 1st FW’s air power exemplifies the contributions its Airmen of the 1st FW have made to aviation history and the Air Force.

“If the past has anything to tell us about the future, our Airmen should know the nation will once again call on the 1st FW to provide airpower and win decisively,” Hinds said. “We have from now until that call to improve our readiness. Don’t wait, lean into our readiness, and be prepared to be first to the fight.”


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