JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. –
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.
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.
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
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
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.”