185th Air Refueling Wing earns Outstanding Unit Award

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot
  • 185th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The Iowa Air National Guard's 185th Air Refueling Wing has been awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for its efforts during 2019.

The award is earned for exceptionally meritorious service to the United States Air Force.

Col. Mark Muckey, commander of the unit, said every member of the 185th earned the honor.

"This award is a direct reflection of the professionalism of our unit membership and an affirmation of the high quality of work they do every day," Muckey said.

The citation mentions the unit’s high operations tempo during 2019 which included thousands of flying hours. The award cited the unit’s 100% manning that allows the organization to operate at full strength. Also mentioned is the Wing’s community involvement initiatives like the boss lift program that allowed hundreds of civilian employers to fly with the unit and witness an inflight refueling.

Other items of note included the 185th Medical Group’s involvement in humanitarian efforts in 2019 as part of the Innovative readiness training while in Puerto Rico. While training in the island territory for two weeks medical personal from the Wing provided cared for 9000 patients.

Units that are part of the Sioux City, Iowa based Air Refueling Wing are regularly tasked to provide support for the global mission of the United States Air Force. With the New Year, the Wing’s tasking’s have not let up. 185th unit members are currently deployed to Anderson Air Force Base, Guam. These Airmen are providing air refueling support as part of the continuous bomber presence in the Pacific region.

As a subordinate organization of the Iowa National Guard, the 185th is also tasked to provide humanitarian support in the event of a state emergency. During 2020 members of the 185th were part the natural disaster response where they assisted with debris cleanup operations in Cedar Rapids following the derecho wind storm. Unit members were also activated throughout the spring and summer months where they provided support for the TestIowa COVID-19 test initiative.

The western Iowa based Air National Guard unit has over 900 full and part time members. The main mission of the unit is flying and maintaining the KC-135R Sratotanker mid-air refueling aircraft as well as the test and evaluation mission in Fort Dodge.

The Air Force Outstanding unit Award citation mentions subordinate units from the 185th Support Group, Medical Group, Operations and Maintenance Groups in Sioux City as well as the 133rd Test Squadron in Fort Dodge.

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.

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