Hoeven Honors Air Guard on 14th Outstanding Unit Award

FARGO, N.D. - Senator John Hoeven honored members of the North Dakota National Air Guard 119th Wing today with the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. This is the 14th time the Wing has received this award, which recognizes excellence and perfection in military work. 

“This unit is an example to everyone in our military of the way long-term commitment to excellence can become engrained in an organization,” Hoeven said. “What a tradition the 119th has created. They are a real asset to our nation and a real source of pride for our state.” 

The award was presented at a ceremony in the National Guard facility by Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota adjutant general, and Col. Rick Gibney, commander of the 119th Wing. Each year, the 119th Wing competes with similar units across the nation for the distinction, and only four out of 31 units are selected for the award. All unit members will receive the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon to wear on their dress uniforms and the 14th such ribbon will be added to 119th Wing aircraft. 

The Air Force Outstanding Unit Award is presented to units that have made achievements of national or international significance, including successful involvement with combat and military operations or exposure to hostile actions by an opposing foreign force. Among the many accomplishments cited in the 119th Wing receiving the award for the 2010 fiscal year (October 2009 through September 2010) are its combat and support operations for Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command and Air Force Global Strike Command. During 2010, 36 of North Dakota’s citizen-Airmen deployed in support of the Global War on Terrorism, homeland defense missions and stateside emergency support. The 119th Wing also extended its exemplary flying record to more than 38 years encompassing 206,667 flying hours and 108,811 mishap-free sorties. 

According to the National Guard, most units across the United States average only three to five awards. Fourteen awards places the 119th Wing in the top percent of the nation's forces. The 119th Wing previously won the award in 1973, 1974, 1979, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2008.