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    Hollywood Guard Takes Home Stanley F.H. Newman Airlift/Tanker Outstanding Unit Award

    Hollywood Guard Takes Home Stanley F.H. Newman Airlift/Tanker Outstanding Unit Award.

    Photo By Master Sgt. Nicholas Carzis | Members from the California Air National Guard’s 146th Airlift Wing accept the Maj....... read more read more

    A selected choice of handpicked Airmen with the California Air National Guard's 146th Airlift Wing (146 AW) accepted the Maj. Gen. Stanley F.H. Newman award recognizing the most outstanding Air National Guard (ANG) wing contributing to the overall success of the Mobility Air Force mission at the Orlando Marriott World Center, Orlando, Florida, October 29, 2021.

    The three-day event sponsored by the Airlift/Tanker Association provided meetings and seminars discussing the needs of one of the Air Force's major commands, Air Mobility Command (AMC), and the needs of its allies worldwide. During the event, Airmen heard from keynote speakers, attended seminars, and witnessed outstanding Air Force Wings awarded for their unit's contributions within AMC.

    Master Sgt. Sandra Chavira of the 146th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron (146 AES) helped accept the award on behalf of the wing in front of a stage of thousands of attendees. Chavira says attending the event gave her a new perspective for her wing's humanitarian missions and sparked a renewed passion for military service.

    "Once the association started showcasing all our statistics showing why we won this award, I began to see the significant impact of everything we accomplished. Until that moment, I didn't fully realize the gravity and impact our wing had. Seeing all the COVID-19 missions and deployment missions with their statistics totals really put it in perspective for me," said Chavira.

    Chavira, a seasoned AES veteran with 12 years of dedicated service to the state and nation, was personally involved with some of the accolades recognized at the event. Beginning with her squadron's back-to-back deployments and assisting with COVID-19 support missions with Joint Task Force Mercy in between those deployments, Chavira and the 146 AES have never stopped providing aid since the beginning of the pandemic.

    She and her AES team worked throughout CENTCOM (U.S. Central Command) and the United States, transporting service members infected with COVID-19 in and out of various forward-deployed and stateside locations. In the beginning days of the pandemic, Chavira and her team were navigating the unprecedented as they adapted to protect themselves from the virus while performing their duties, providing quality care and transportation until their patients could be treated at medical facilities.

    Chavira says that as she and her nine fellow wing members accepted the award, she reminisced on the event and the busy year that led them to that moment. The good and the bad; positive memories mixed with anxiety; and the relatable feelings of uncertainty most felt during the beginning of the pandemic.

    "Once we were up there accepting the award I was thinking back on it all. I felt so proud of all our members from the wing for all their sacrifices. [We] had members on a mission for over a year; literally in a hotel room away from their families for an entire year while serving. When they did come back, they then had to go right back on another deployment. I feel like the whole experience just kind of "re-blued" me right then and there,” said Chavira

    Master Sgt. Delicia Rubio, a logistics plans superintendent with the 146th Logistics Readiness Squadron, was also on stage to help accept the award. Rubio says she shared Chavira's sentiments and was genuinely impressed with the information and key speakers at the seminar.

    "We got the chance to listen to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force along with a bunch of other fantastic keynote speakers. We got to choose from a plethora of seminars, and we listened to stories from a panel involved with the closing of bases in Afghanistan. That was incredible because we got a unique perspective from what it was like on the ground. It was amazing," said Rubio.

    Like Chavira, Rubio also had significant involvement with COVID-19 mission support. For example, she assisted with identifying and organizing hundreds of volunteers to support civil authorities during civil unrest in Los Angeles in 2020. Within 24 hours, Rubio exceeded the initial task request for support with the assistance of commanders from various squadrons. Rubio says she’s proud of the amount of enthusiasm her wing has consistently demonstrated throughout the pandemic.

    "We had so many members just in our group that came out and raised their hand to help support this mission during the pandemic on such short notice. It was really amazing to see our members step up to support like that," said Rubio.

    Like Chavira, Rubio says she walks away with a renewed sense of purpose in the California Air National Guard after attending the event.
    "What we do here at our wing is incredible. To have such a fantastic team of unit deployment managers, leaders that support us, and dedicated airmen always ready to support the mission is everything. Without them, we would not have the success that we had.

    This year, the 146 AW was highlighted explicitly for its exceptionally meritorious service, as the Association recognized its contributions to supporting wildfire suppression and COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts in 2020. During which time, the wing's aerial fire-fighting mission known as MAFFS (Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System) saved an estimated $185 billion from potential property damage during one of the busiest fire seasons in California history.

    Additionally, the wing’s MAFFS aircrew with the 115th Airlift Squadron provided over 232 sorties and dropped five million gallons of fire retardant supporting the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and the U.S. Forest Service.

    Remarkably, the wing was also simultaneously mobilizing hundreds of its Airmen to support COVID-19 missions across the state, building federal medical shelters, assisting the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office, and delivering food to local food banks serving one million meals to over 345 thousand families across the state.

    The busy California ANG unit known as the "Hollywood Guard" also impressively provided medical strike teams supporting large-scale vaccination centers. During this time, the 146th Security Forces Squadron also assisted civil authorities during cases of civil unrest in Downtown Los Angeles.

    Also highlighted during the event was the wing’s partnership with the North Atlantic Oceanic Office, assisting with airdropping 17 apex buoys, developing years' worth of research studying climate change.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 10.29.2021
    Date Posted: 12.02.2021 19:21
    Story ID: 410366
    Location: PORT HUENEME, CA, US 

    Web Views: 1,237
    Downloads: 3

    PUBLIC DOMAIN