5th CCG earns first Meritorious Unit Award Published Aug. 21, 2009 By Wayne Crenshaw 78 ABW/PA ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- T he 5th Combat Communications Group puts a lot of emphasis on the "combat" part of its name, which is why the unit is gratified to win its first Meritorious Unit Award. The 5th CCG, also known as the 5th Mob, has won numerous Outstanding Unit Awards, but the Meritorious Unit Award is more special because it specifically honors combat work, said 1st Lt. Stephen Gallagher, the unit's executive officer. He credited the award to the attitude of the 5th's Airmen. "I've been in the Air Force just over eight years, and I've never been somewhere where everybody just charged so hard," he said. "Our Airmen do amazing work." The 5th has had troops continuously deployed since Sept. 11, 2001, Lieutenant Gallagher said, and it currently has troops at 20 locations around the world, including Iraq and Afghanistan. Even its commander, Col. Jose Rivera, is currently deployed. The Meritorious Unit Award is a relatively new honor, created by the Secretary of the Air Force in 2004 to recognize units specifically for service either in a combat zone or directly in support of combat operations. The award is given to units that display "outstanding devotion and superior performance of exceptionally difficult tasks as to set it apart and above other units with similar missions." The award recognized the 5th's efforts from June 1, 2007 to May of this year. Among the numerous accomplishments cited in the award package were the unit's efforts to improve communication and information sharing between U.S. and United Kingdom troops. Lieutenant Gallagher said it was a significant achievement for the 5th. "We need to be able to talk to each other and work with each other, rather than just sit next to each other out in the desert," he said.