Grissom receives Meritorious Unit Award

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Chris Massey
  • 434th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The 434th Air Refueling Wing was recognized for excellence and awarded the Meritorious Unit Award for the period of Oct. 1 2017-Sept. 30, 2019.

The award recognizes exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service to the United States in direct support of combat operations throughout the world.

“I’m always bragging on the 434th Air Refueling Wing, and I’m glad that our efforts are noticed by others,” said Col. Larry Shaw, 434th ARW commander. “I’m so proud of this unit and this base.”

The award dates back to 2004, when the Secretary of the Air Force approved the Meritorious Unit Award to recognize organizations for outstanding heroism in combat as well as outstanding achievement or service in direct support of combat operations.

The MUA is awarded to Air Force active, Reserve, and Guard units for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding achievement or service in direct support of combat operations for at least 90 continuous days during the period of military operations against an armed enemy of the United States on or after Sept. 11, 2001.

The requirements include the must display of outstanding devotion and superior performance of exceptionally difficult tasks as to set it apart and above other units with similar missions.

During the award period, the 434th ARW exhibited superior determination and strength combating a high operations tempo that deployed over one thousand personnel, accounting for 100,000 days in support of Operations INHERENT RESOLVE and FREEDOM’S SENTINEL while executing three Worthy Phoenix exercises, a Nuclear Readiness Inspection, and Capstone all that resulted in exceptional performance. 

The wing effectively produced 1,900 flight sorties, offloading over 70 million pounds of fuel with 5,200 flight hours, earning the honors of the Air Force Reserve Command Maintenance Effectiveness Award for two consecutive years and the Dedalian Major General W. Carder Logistics Effectiveness Award, highlighting the wing’s effective performance.

In addition, the newly appointed 49th Aerial Port Squadron executed ARCTIC CARE within a 30-day notice, resulting in 325,000 pounds of cargo, providing aid to 30,000 villagers and the Denton Humanitarian Operation yielded care to two third-world countries.

These missions went on while 434th ARW held its first air show in 16 years, generating more than 65,000 spectators and demonstrations from 22 aerial performers and 22 static displays with a moving tribute to nine World War II veterans, with one veteran reciting the oath of enlistment to 75 new joint service recruits.

“Opening our base for the Grissom Air and Space Expo, really gave taxpayers and our neighbors a chance to learn more about us and our capabilities,” Shaw said. “Our award-winning capabilities!”

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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