173rd Fighter Wing: Air Force Outstanding Unit!

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar
  • 173rd Fighter Wing
The Air National Guard named the 173rd Fighter Wing a recipient of the 2013 Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for exceptional meritorious service and outstanding achievement October 1, 2011, to September 30, 2013.


"This award is recognition of the exceptional efforts from our Airmen last year; the combined efforts of individual Airmen across the wing culminated in the wing successfully exceeding its mission goals," said Col. Jeremy Baenen, 173rd FW Commander.  "However, it is more than meeting mission objectives -- I believe it was the recognition of Airmen going above and beyond which was the real determining factor."

The award recognizes multiple wing accomplishments across the time period.  They include the 173rd Maintenance Group exceeding the mission capable rate of the combat air force, the 173rd Operations Group flying more hours than any other ANG unit, and flying more than 60,000 hours without a Class "A" incident. Additionally, the award recognizes the 173rd FW's work in the Public-Public Private-Private (P4) process, as well as the flawless execution of over 4,700 flying hours, training over 87 student pilots, and supporting the global War on Terror with multiple personnel deployments.

"It takes the entire wing to make our mission a success," said Baenen.  "Every Airmen, contractor, and civilian employee should be immensely proud of our accomplishments."

According to the Air Force Personnel Center, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award is awarded by the Secretary of the Air Force to numbered units that have distinguished themselves through exceptional meritorious service or outstanding achievement, which clearly sets the unit above and apart from similar units.

All members assigned to the 173rd FW during the award timeframe are authorized to wear the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon.

"I'm so proud of how our Airmen responded in the face of unprecedented challenges and remained focused on the mission.  They overcome these challenges and are a key contributor to maintaining America's air superiority," added Baenen.  "This is a great accomplishment and something to be celebrated."

Established in 1954, the AFOUA was the first independent Air Force decoration; up to that point Air Force personnel had been awarded Army decorations.