News: 126th Air Refueling Wing awarded Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Story by Master Sgt. Ken Stephens
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – The Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (AFOUA) has been awarded to an Illinois Air National Guard unit at Scott Air Force Base.
The 126th Air Refueling Wing received its sixth AFOUA citation, covering the period of Oct. 1, 2011 through Sept. 30, 2013.
“I'm proud of you individually and as a team for this monumental achievement that is long overdue,” said Col. Peter Nezamis, wing commander, when informing wing members of the accomplishment.
During the time period covered for the award, the 126th flew its eight KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft on more than 6,200 missions; offloading more than 10.2 million gallons of fuel to more than 10,000 U.S. and NATO aircraft.
The wing deployed 990 personnel to locations around the world including Afghanistan, Kuwait, Germany, Guam, and Japan. They participated in Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, New Dawn, and Iraqi Freedom.
The 126th also maintained a high level of readiness for the U.S. Strategic Command’s Global Strike mission, according to Lt. Col. Ralph Delatour, chief of wing plans for the 126th.
“This is a key component of the nuclear triad, and provides national leadership flexible options in deploying nuclear deterrence and strategic threat response, worldwide,” said Delatour.
Nezamis also expressed gratitude for the families that provided critical support.
“I don't think I have to count or remind you of the numerous deployments and sacrifices endured by our families. Our mission is what we do, what we're accustom to, but this award is bestowed upon our families as well for their unwavering commitment to you,” said Nezamis.
Consisting of more than 1,000 Air National Guard and active duty Air Force personnel, the 126th is the only aerial refueling wing in the Illinois Air National Guard and routinely practices its mission of immediate, sustained, long-range air refueling of both nuclear and conventional aircraft with U.S. armed forces and NATO allies.