Missouri Air National Guard Recognized With Outstanding Unit Awards | Community Spirit
By Missouri National Guard Public Affairs Office
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The Missouri Air National Guard was recently recognized with three 2011 Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards.
The 139th Operations Group, in St. Joseph, 131st Bomb Wing, at Whiteman Air Force Base, and the 157th Air Operations Group, headquartered at Lambert Air National Guard Base with operations at historical Jefferson Barracks, were each recognized for their outstanding contributions to the United States Air Force, said Maj. Gen. Stephen L. Danner, adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard.
Established in 1954, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award is presented to units which have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service or outstanding achievement that clearly sets the unit above and apart from similar units.
In recent years, the Missouri Air National Guard has served with distinction, whether abroad supporting missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya or at home supporting flood relief operations and the Joplin tornado response, said State Command Chief Master Sgt. Bill Phillips.
Col. Richard Chapman, who led the 157th Air Operations Group during much of the period recognized by the award, said it reflects the hard work of the group's Airmen.
The National Guard's only B-2 Spirit wing, the 131st Bomb Wing, was recognized for transitioning from its previous F-15 mission and supporting operations including Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Additionally, the wing excelled in all six inspections during that period, and received an overall rating of 'Excellent' in the Headquarters Air Combat Command Nuclear Operational Readiness Inspection.
The 131st also helped the Air Force elevate the concept of total force integration by forming a classic associate mission with the active duty Air Force's 509th Bomb Wing.
The 139th Operations Group's wide-range of accomplishments includes numerous missions worldwide for federal service as well as for state service across Missouri and the nation. The Airmen also engaged the St. Joseph community through volunteerism, emergency support and other actions. The group was consistently a top performance in inspections, exercises and readiness evaluations.
Brig. Gen. Jon Kelk, Missouri Air National Guard's chief of staff, said the Missouri Air National Guard will continue to provide the same high level of service to the state and nation.