• Published
  • By Major Jennifer Howsare
  • 126th Air Refueling Wing
The 126th Air Refueling Wing, Illinois Air National Guard, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., has been awarded a 2010 National Guard Association of the United States Distinguished Flying Unit Plaque.

Established in 1959 and first awarded in 1960, the distinguished flying award plaques recognize the five highest-rated outstanding Air National Guard flying units.

"The dedication and commitment of the members of these organizations enable the Air National Guard to fulfill its commitment to the mission of peacekeeping, humanitarian relief, domestic improvement, and most important of all - defense of America," said Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt, director of the Air National Guard.

Winning units are selected by boards comprised of Army and Air Directorates of the National Guard Bureau, and selections are based on the overall combat readiness during the reporting year and the unit's performance with respect to all other Air Guard flying units.

When making their selections, the board looks at several factors that set a winning unit apart from the rest of the Air National Guard flying units. They evaluate the unit's flying safety record, aircraft operational readiness, unit manning, skill level qualifications and several other operational and manning requirements.

"Unwavering dedication and perseverance have to be the standard for a flying wing in today's Air National Guard," said Col. Peter Nezamis, commander, 126th Air Refueling Wing. "The entire wing contributed greatly to our mission and ultimately the 126th being recognized as one of five distinguished flying units within the Air National Guard."

The 126th ARW was selected as an award winner due to its ability to accomplish the mission with a maximum degree of war readiness, while continuing to maintain a flying record of more than 28 years and 96,000 flight hours logged.

Please contact Maj. Jennifer Howsare, 126th Public Affairs Office, at 618-222-5761 or 126ARW.PA@ANG.AF.MIL for more information.