Illinois Air Guard unit earns 10th outstanding unit award

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Vincent Lang
  • 126th Air Refueling Wing

The Air Force Outstanding Unit Award has been awarded to an Illinois Air National Guard unit at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.

The 126th Air Refueling Wing has been selected for this prestigious citation three times in a row and a sum of ten times. Most recently it was for meritorious service from January 2019 thru December 2020.

“The 126th Air Refueling Wing has lead the way in sustained performance and operational capability. Our culture of excellence, our commitment to performance, and your continuous support of worldwide missions have put the 126th ARW at the top,” wrote Col. Thomas Jackson, wing commander, in an email announcement to the wing.

During this period, the wing held the highest mission capable rate of any KC-135 unit in the command for the duration of the award period. They consistently demonstrated mission accomplishment, and operational readiness in support of multiple worldwide contingency operations despite the worldwide pandemic.

The wing hosted regular training exercises and missions to ensure that its more than 1,000 members were ready to carry out the wing’s primary mission of providing air refueling support to aircraft of the Air Force as well as other U.S. military forces and the military forces of allied nations.
The 126th Maintenance Group operations superintendent, Chief Master Sgt. Jeffery Whyte said, “This is well deserved and speaks to our ability to carry out the mission anytime, anywhere.”

One of its newest members, a 126th Force Support Squadron customer support technician, Airman First Class Kiana Franklin, completed her basic military training a little more than one year ago. She says she is proud of being a member of the wing.

Speaking of how she sees wing members working together, Franklin said, “It has been a really nice experience seeing every one come together to get something done during this time.”

The wing is planning a formal ceremony in 2022 when they will be officially presented with the award.