ST PAUL, Minn. - The 133rd Airlift Wing held its annual Wing Awards Ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of the Wing throughout the year and to recognize outstanding airmen in the north hangar, Dec. 14. Brig. Gen. Robert Cayton, commander of the Minnesota Air National Guard, Brig. Gen. Greg Haase, former 133rd Airlift Wing commander, and other distinguished guests were in attendance.
The ceremony commenced as the official party entered the hangar and the national anthem was sung while the colors were presented. It provided an opportunity for leadership to officially award and recognize both individuals and teams.
Cayton praised the 133rd Airlift Wing for earning the Outstanding Air Force Unit Award for the ninth time. This award is given to the top 10 percent of organizations throughout the Air Force. He also applauded the wing for its “outstanding” rating on the Logistic Compliance Assessment Program Inspection and for its performance in the domestic operations exercise, Boreas Reach.
“To prepare via exercise is a great thing to do. It shows our commitment and our intertwining with our civilian counterparts and our civilian citizens that are outside the base. That’s a wonderful thing,” Cayton said.
This year’s theme, "Why We Serve," was resonant in Cayton’s remarks about the exceptional number of Wing members who were involved in various community outreach programs such as STARBASE and Achieve Minneapolis.
“We’re plugged in to our communities, we’re supporting, and we’re building our communities,” said Cayton.
The 133rd Airlift Wing Outstanding Airmen of the Year were officially recognized as Senior NCO of the Year Master Sgt. Crystal Galloway of the 133rd Maintenance Operations Flight, NCO of the Year Tech. Sgt. David Hubert of the 133rd Communications Flight, Airmen of the Year Senior Airman Hunter Heggerston of the 133rd Medical Group, First Sergeant of the Year Master Sgt. Robert Renning of the 210th Engineering Installation Squadron and Honor Guard Team Member of the Year Staff Sgt. Dirk Krog of the 133rd Medical Group.
These airmen will represent the wing in the state competition and if selected, they will go on to the national competition. The ceremony also recognized many other remarkable individuals within the wing that received national and local awards.
The many accomplishments achieved in 2013 were further reflected upon by Col. Jim Johnson, 133rd Airlift Wing commander. He commented on the wing’s involvement in various community outreach activities that connected the wing with the community and further enhanced a vital relationship. He stressed how the importance of diversity throughout the wing will be critical for our success in the future.
Johnson concluded the ceremony by sharing with the wing a photo of his homemade holiday lawn decoration depicting an illuminated C-130 complete with lighted rotating propellers, which was maneuvering a low pass. With this image he reminded us, “Let those propellers out there truly represent the four fans of freedom that you continue to fight for and allow your communities, state, and nation the protections that you afford them,” Johnson said. “You left 2013 better than you found it.”