116th ACW receives 16th Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Regina Young
  • 116th Air Control Wing, Public Affairs
National Guard Bureau officials recognized the 116th Air Control Wing among the very best, awarding the unit the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the period of Oct. 1, 2010 to Sep. 30, 2012.

The AFOUA is given to units that perform exceptional meritorious service, accomplish specific acts of outstanding achievement, excel in combat operations against an armed enemy of the U.S., or distinctly conduct military operations involving conflict with, or exposure to a hostile action by any opposing foreign force.

The award is the 16th of its kind the wing has received.

"The competition is extremely keen and the dedication and commitment of the members 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," stated Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt, director, Air National Guard.

In 2012, Team JSTARS flew in support of six combatant commands, performing C2-ISR missions across the spectrum of conflict: homeland defense missions, counter insurgency support, theater-level conflict in Libya, crisis-response ISR and maritime domain awareness missions.

Accruing more than 82,000 combat hours, Team JSTARS has been on a continuous deployment cycle for more than 10 years supporting operations such as Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector.

"I see the dedication on the faces of the Airmen of the 116th ACW whether they are supporting real-world missions or participating in a major inspection," said Col. Kevin Clotfelter, commander 116th ACW. "And, to the families who provide us unending support; this award is yours too."

Team JSTARS has earned a 95.8 percent mission effectiveness rate on a fleet of aircraft that averages 44 years old.

In 2002, the 116th ACW was established as the first joint Air National Guard/United States Air Force unit. The joint unit was inactivated Sept. 30, 2011 and the 116th ACW was returned to the sole jurisdiction of the Georgia Air National Guard.

The 116th is the only unit in the Air National Guard operating the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, an advanced ground surveillance and battle management system providing C2-ISR and combat support forces to meet state and national objectives.