5 units deemed outstanding by Air Force

  • Published
  • By Wayne Crenshaw
  • 78th Air Base wing Public Affairs
The Secretary of the Air Force recently awarded five units at Robins the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.

The wings getting the honor are the 542nd Combat Sustainment Wing, the 78th Air Base Wing and the 330th Aircraft Sustainment Wing. Also winning the award were 402nd Electronics Maintenance Group and the 653rd Combat Logistics Support Squadron.

Dr. William Head, chief of the history office, said it's one of the best years the base has had for winning the AFOUA. The only year he knew of when the base took home more awards was when the entire base won it.

The award is given for service and achievement above that of similar units. Each military member of the winning units who served in the unit during the time period of the award gets a ribbon. The time period for the award was May 2006 to May of this year.

"This award underscores not just excellence demonstrated over the last year, but is an acknowledgment of the superior work ethic these units have taken pride in over time," said Maj. Gen. Polly Peyer, commander of Warner Robins Air Logistics Center. "You don't become an outstanding unit in a few months. It takes time to develop and sustain that type of culture. This speaks volumes for the collaborative efforts our leaders and workforce make to provide combat capabilities on time and on cost every day."

Col. Tim Freeman took command of the 330th ASW after the time period for the award ended, but he has seen in his short time with the unit why it won the award.

"It's the outstanding dedication, patriotism, and work ethic throughout all levels of the wing, from the commanders and directors, down to the junior ranking individual," Colonel Freeman said. "They have all done their part, to contribute to our mission of sustaining the warfighters."

He also noted that the wing had an excellent rating in the three major inspections that occurred during the award time period. He said the AFOUA award is not easy to win.

"It's got a high bar to achieve," he said. "Many organizations put in for it organizations put in for it but few actually get it."

The award for the 653rd CLSS comes less than a year before the unit is scheduled to deactivate. Maj. Joseph Giuliani, squadron commander, credited the award to the "hard work of the men and women of the squadron and what they do to keep aging aircraft flying and their superior work worldwide. They basically take on the jobs that nobody else can do."

The nomination for the 653rd CLSS said the unit provided over 30,000 man hours on thousands of worldwide deployments and over 64,000 man hours in depot support. The unit also saved WR-ALC $16.5 million in depot costs.

The 78th ABW was cited for demonstrating "sustained, outstanding support of the Global War on Terrorism mission while excelling at securing, maintaining, and protecting the 8,723-acre Robins Air Force Base."

"Being recognized as a benchmark unit for the Air Force is an honor for the entire wing," said Col. Warren Berry, commander of the 78th ABW. "We've changed how we're organized over the last few years, but what's remained constant is the allegiance to our mission of deploying trained, combat-ready Airmen and providing world-class operating support to the base."

The 542nd CSW, according to the citation, "Distinguished itself by exceptionally meritorious service" during award period, and accomplished its mission "with a maximum degree of war readiness. The professionalism, knowledge and technical skills of the 542nd Combat Sustainment Wing personnel contributed directly to fulfillment of national objectives."

"I am extremely proud of the men and women whose hard work and dedication enabled us to receive this highly sought after recognition. This includes the former members of the 542nd who now reside in the 638th Supply Chain Management Group of the AFGLSC," said Brenda Romine, WR-ALC executive director and former director of the 542nd CSW. "They have accomplished unprecedented achievements in areas such as support equipment transformation, worldwide combat and support systems, supply chain management and missile sustainment. This honor is a testament to their hard work and dedication and could not have been awarded to a more deserving group of professionals."

The 402nd EMXG is responsible for maintenance of over 9,000 items. It supports 328 systems on 15 major airframes and repairs critical assets for all four services and foreign customers.

Col. Jerry Whitley, the 402 EMXG commander, said the unit had a "banner year" in production.

"I think over the year we've concentrated on becoming a better team and it has worked well for us," he said. "Clearly every time you win an award its all about the team and this is one of the things that happened to us."