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Outstanding Unit Award

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Vince De Groot
  • 185ARW
On January 30, 2008, the 185th Air Refueling Wing (ARW), Iowa Air National Guard was awarded the 'Outstanding Unit Award' for 2007 by the Director of the Air National Guard in Washington D.C., Lt. General Craig R. McKinley.

"The dedication and commitment of the members of the 185th ARW enable the Air National Guard to fulfill its commitment to the missions of peacekeeping, humanitarian relief, domestic improvement, and most important of all, defense of America," said McKinley.

The unit received the award for accomplishments from September 2005 through August 2007. The award is the seventh such distinction since the unit's inception in 1946.

Col. Brian Miller, Commander of the 185th ARW, said he is extremely proud of the combined accomplishments of the Sioux City, Iowa Air National Guard and civilian employees that continue to make the wing one of the best in the country.

"Receiving the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award tells the people of the Siouxland community just what type of top-notch wing we have and that the 185th has some of the finest professionals helping guard our nation," said Miller.

During the past few years, the flying wing in Sioux City has distinguished itself by its involvement in the Global War on Terrorism and in state assistance efforts like Hurricane Katrina and Operation Jump Start in Arizona and New Mexico. After Hurricane Katrina, the 185th transported more than 80 tons of cargo and 1,000 evacuees and Army service personnel in 86 flights during a 22-day period. The 185th also had nineteen medical personnel who were stationed in hurricane-ravaged Bay St. Louis, Miss., where they provided dental care for more than 600 patients.

Additionally, the unit continued to keep up its exceptional scoring on evaluations and inspections. The 185th received an overall rating of excellent during the unit's first Operational Readiness Inspection in over 10 years. The 185th Operations Group also was recognized by the Air Mobility Command's Inspector General for its overall outstanding Aircrew Standardization and Evaluation (ASEV) rating after an unprecedented weapon system conversion from F-16C's to KC-135E's.

Individual unit members continued to support the local communities of Siouxland by volunteering thousands of hours of their time.

"The Outstanding Unit Award recognizes those truly extraordinary units in the Air Force that perform at a very high level," said Miller. "The 185th has a very rich history of excellence, and the men and women of the 185th have continually stepped up to the call of duty when needed."