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185th ARW awarded Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Heidi Mailahn
  • 185th Air Refueling Wing

This week Col. Larry Christensen, 185th Air Refueling Wing Commander, announced that the Iowa Air National Guard Unit based in Sioux City, Iowa has been awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for exceptionally meritorious service.


According to Christensen, this award is a reflection of the work members of the 185th do every day.

"This award helps us see how much we have accomplished. It helps us look at what our unit has done as a whole; through training, deployments, helping in the community, and what we have provided for the Department of Defense," said Christensen.


The Air Force Outstanding Unit Award is given to units that have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service or outstanding achievement that clearly sets the unit above and apart from other Air National Guard units.

The evaluation period for the award was from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017. This is the 10th time that the unit has won the award and the first time winning it two years in a row.


The unit’s main mission is mid-air refueling by flying KC-135R Sratotankers. There are over 900 full time and part time members that make this possible.

The unit provides mid-air refueling and mobility sustainment in support of the global mission of the Air Force and the state of Iowa. During state emergencies, the 185th has provided, and continues to be ready to provide humanitarian and national disaster response.

“What makes this award so special is it is something we couldn’t have done without the contribution of the Airmen on this base and the community. The people at the 185th are our most valuable resource. We are very dedicated, patriotic and efficient. We are partners with the community. Most of the Airmen that work on base have grown up or currently live in the area. With their family and employers support, we can make our mission happen,” said Christensen.

According to the Outstanding Unit Award citation, the 185th continues to provide mission capable aircraft and Airmen for deployments around the world for both flying and mission support operations.