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News > 55th Wing recognized with Meritorious Unit Award
Ensuring mission readiness
OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb., -- Shane Conaway, a jet engine mechanic with the 55th Maintenance Squadron isochronal phased inspection dock, inspects the right wing of an RC-135 aircraft during an isochronal inspection at the Bennie Davis Maintenance Facility Oct.23. In the isochronal phase inspection dock, about 40 people are responsible for maintaining Offutt's 135s and ensuring they are mission-ready. The performance of the 55th MXS Isochronal inspection dock during a recent inspection helped the 55th Wing earn the Meritorius Unit Award. (U.S. Air Force photo/Charles Haymond)
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55th Wing recognized with Meritorious Unit Award

Posted 10/26/2009   Updated 10/26/2009 Email story   Print story


by Ryan Hansen
55th Wing Public Affairs

10/26/2009 - OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb.  -- Airmen in the 55th Wing pride themselves on their ability to perform the mission at the highest level, and recently, they were honored for that dedication with Air Combat Command's Meritorious Unit Award. 

The MUA is given to Air Force active-duty, Reserve and Guard units for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding achievement or service in direct support of combat operations for at least 90 continuous days. 

The Fightin' Fifty-Fifth was one of four ACC units to receive the award for the period of June 1, 2008, to May 31, 2009. It's the fourth time the unit has earned the honor since its authorization in 2004. 

"It's such a privilege and honor to be part of the 55th Wing and to serve with all of the Airmen ... military, civil service and contractors, who comprise this tremendous team," said Brig. Gen. John N.T. Shanahan, 55th WG commander. "This award is a testament to your dedication and professionalism." 

During the award time period, the wing surged its RC-135 and EC-130H combat operations. Airmen flew more than 1,400 combat missions, surpassing more than 10,000 combat hours, while maintaining more than 900 personnel deployed overseas. 

"The 55th Wing's Airmen and aircraft have been in the fight supporting overseas contingency operations continuously for more than 19 years," General Shanahan said. "I don't know of any other aviation unit that can match that record. With no end to the deployments in sight, I challenge the Airmen of the Fightin' Fifty-Fifth to keep raising the bar of excellence. You truly deserve this award!" 

The 55th WG also provided assistance during many high-profile international incidents throughout the award period. This included key support to the president of the United States as the North Korean government tested missiles and also to the International Security Assistance Force during a hostage rescue in Afghanistan. 

In addition, the wing continued to leverage diplomatic power for the National Command Authority with the E4-B. National Airborne Operations Center crews were on alert continuously for the entire time period and flew 349 sorties, being 100 percent combat-ready. 

"The 55th Wing continues to raise the bar every year and this award just shows how important our mission is," General Shanahan said. "You demonstrate the real value of teamwork and I couldn't be more proud of you." 

Members assigned to the 55th WG during the award period can validate their entitlement to the award with the base military personnel flight. Upon verification, personnel are authorized to wear the award immediately.

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