North Dakota Air National Guard Base, N.D. --
The North Dakota National Guard’s 119th Wing, known as the Happy Hooligans, formally received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (AFOUA) for the 19th time Saturday, during a ceremony at the Air National Guard base in Fargo.
Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, North Dakota adjutant general, presented the award to the unit members and commended them for their exceptional service, commitment and mission accomplishment.
“This, in my opinion, and you have the facts to back it up, is the best Wing in the United States Air Force,” he said.
The AFOUA is awarded by the secretary of the U.S. Air Force to numbered units of the active-duty Air Force, U.S. Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard that have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service or outstanding achievement, including successful involvement with combat operations or exposure to hostile actions by an opposing foreign force.
“I cannot be more proud of what the men and women of the North Dakota Air National Guard accomplish each day,” said Col. Britt Hatley, 119th Wing commander, during the ceremony. “This award is another in a lineage of exceptional excellence spanning decades. Whether called by the nation or the state, the Hooligans stand ready for action.”
The award was presented for the 119th Wing’s achievements during the fiscal year 2016; Oct. 1, 2015 to Sept. 30, 2016. The unit successfully executed combat and support operations for Air Combat Command and Air Force Global Strike Command. Some additional accomplishments for the Airmen included those by the 119th Medical Group, which participated in a joint-service, multi-nation medical readiness exercise in Hawaii. The 119th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group also was acknowledged for providing global targeting support to combatant commanders.
The Hooligans previously received the award in 1971, 1973, 1979, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Since the start of the Global War on Terrorism, over 2,600 North Dakota Air National Guard members have mobilized in support of the nation’s response to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.