Dover base celebrates Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

 

Leadership from the 436th Airlift Wing receives streamers commemorating the wing’s recent Air Force Outstanding Unit Award on Wednesday. The streamers will be displayed on all group and squadron guidons to reflect the achievement. (U.S. Air Force photo/Roland Balik)

DOVER — Col. Ethan Griffin, 436th Airlift Wing commander, said teamwork and dedication to success led to the wing receiving the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award throughout the period of Oct. 1, 2015, to Sept. 30, 2017, on Wednesday.

Leadership from the 436th Airlift Wing received streamers commemorating the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, the wing’s 19th overall since the honor was established in 1954 as the first independent Air Force decoration.

“This award was earned by each and every member of Team Dover and is a reflection of the ‘Dover Experience,’ which begins from the moment you pass through the gate,” said Col. Griffin. “It recognizes the expertise and precision of our aviators who take the ‘Dover Tail Flash’ all over the world, carrying the reputation of our hometown and our base on their wings.”

The AFOUA is awarded to U.S. Air Force units that demonstrate exceptionally meritorious service or outstanding achievement of national or international significance, combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States, or military operations involving conflict with or exposure to hostile actions by an opposing foreign force.

“The unmatched work ethic of our maintainers who labor through the heat of summer and cold of winter to keep our aircraft safe and flying is what won this award,” Col. Griffin said. “The hospitality, professionalism and attention to detail of our mission support staff was vital to setting our Wing apart from our sister units.”

The AFOUA was last awarded to the wing for the period of Jan. 1, 2013, to Sept. 30, 2014. It marks the 19th AFOUA the 436th Airlift Wing has earned.

“The AFOUA acknowledges the power of the community we have built here within Team Dover,” Col. Griffin said. “What we view as normal and day-to-day will now be seen as the standard for the rest of the Air Force to meet.”

The award citation recognized the 436th Airlift Wing for its operation of the Department of Defense’s largest aerial port, flying more than 8,900 C-5M Super Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster III sorties and delivering more than 196 million pounds of cargo and transporting 37,000 passengers.

Additionally, during this time period, the wing conducted the Air Force’s largest runway reconstruction project worth $114 million, which replaced 90-year-old infrastructure with new materials extending the life expectancy by at least 50 years.

During the reconstruction, eight C-5Ms and more than 150 maintenance personnel deployed to Joint Base McGuire-Dix in Lakehurst, New Jersey.

“Despite significant logistical challenges, the wing achieved Air Mobility Command’s highest C-5M home station departure reliability rate and beat command standards by 21 percent,” read the award citation.

Dover AFB is home to more than 11,000 airmen and joint service members, civilians and families. Its’ personnel are responsible for global airlift aboard assigned C-5M Super Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.

Additionally, the 436th Airlift Wing serves as host for key partners such as the Air Force Reserve’s 512th Airlift Wing, the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System and the Joint Personal Effects Depot, jointly responsible for the dignified return of fallen American service members.

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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