126th Air Refueling Wing presented its sixth Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Elise Stout
  • 126th Public Affairs
The 126th Air Refueling Wing, assigned to the Illinois Air National Guard, received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (AFOUA) on Oct. 4, 2014, from the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, Army Maj. Gen. Daniel Krumrei, at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

The AFOUA is awarded to only a number of units each year. This year on May 12, 2014 the 126th Air Refueling Wing (ARW) earned the AFOUA for service from the time period of Oct. 1, 2011 to Sept. 30, 2013.

"You do seize the opportunities and you do embrace the challenges which augment the Air Force and bolster our state duties and obligations. We in the state of Illinois and this nation owe you and owe your families our respect and gratitude." said Krumrei when making the presentation at a ceremony held inside the wing hangar.

Krumrei also passed on a message to the unit from the Director of the Air National Guard, Air Force Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III.

"I'm extremely impressed with the enthusiasm, the morale, the dedication required to keep eight 50-plus year old aircraft out of the hangar and on the flight line ready for a nuclear response," said Clarke.

Col. Peter Nezamis, commander of the 126 ARW, agreed that he did not want to let the hard work and dedication by the citizen-airmen go unnoticed.

"This honor for the wing was earned on each and every one of your backs for the dedication and passion you bring to the mission regardless of the elements and pressure, daily," said Nezamis.

This award means a great deal to those Airmen who have worked to earn it.

"The Outstanding Unit Award is a testament to the sacrifice and dedication that each member of this wing exhibits. They don't do it for the recognition or personal gain, but instead for the service to their country and state," said 2nd Lt. Dustin Brown, an Equal Opportunity officer for the 126 ARW. "The Outstanding Unit Award is the icing on the cake. It shows the efforts and sacrifices of this wing are not going unnoticed."

The 126 ARW flew over 6,200 missions on the KC-135R Stratotankers during the two year time period. On those 6,200 flying missions, over 10.2 million gallons of fuel were offloaded to over 10,000 U.S. and NATO aircraft according to the award citation.

This means that not only has the 126 ARW been chosen to represent the Illinois Air National Guard, they represent the Air Force on a higher level.

"Receiving the AFOUA means the 126th Air Refueling Wing is being recognized for the hard work and dedication of each and every member," said Senior Airman Amanda Martin, a manpower and personnel assistant for the 126th Force Support Squadron. "We proudly get to wear the ribbon to show that our wing has been chosen to represent the Air Force."