All three Pennsylvania Air National Guard (PAANG) wings, part of Pennsylvania’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), earned 2018 United States Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards signifying them as exceptional performers. The award spans a two-year period of wing performance.

All three wings have earned this prestigious Air Force award before, but this is the first time that the 111th Attack Wing in Horsham, the 171st Air Refueling Wing in Pittsburgh, and the 193rd Special Operations Wing in Middletown received the award the same year.

“We are extremely proud of how our three wings perform and it is nice to see that their outstanding accomplishments are recognized and honored at the highest level,” said Brig. Gen. Michael J. Regan Jr., DMVA’s deputy adjutant general-Air. “The men and women assigned to these wings play a key role in our nation’s readiness and ability to keep us safe and preserve our freedom.”

111th Attack Wing (ATKW), Horsham (Montgomery County)

The 111 ATKW primarily serves as a control center for the MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft. Flying over territory thousands of miles away, the aircraft can provide instantaneous information to combatant commanders, extended surveillance, battlefield reconnaissance and precision air strikes when needed. The wing also conducts defensive cyber protection.

Award citation highlights include the wing undergoing an unprecedented cyberspace mission conversion, including a major facility renovation, and still meeting operational capability for remotely piloted aircraft and cyberspace operations missions. Despite the changes, the wing still deployed 25 percent of its personnel in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

171st Air Refueling Wing (ARW), Pittsburgh (Allegheny County)

The primary mission of the 171 ARW is to provide in-flight refueling to Department of Defense and NATO aircraft and also support the homeland defense mission on a daily basis. The wing also transports cargo and passengers worldwide.

Award citation highlights include the 171st supporting more than 200 aircraft missions, issuing over 400,000 pounds of fuel and processing more than 40 short tons of cargo. Additionally, 311 wing members were recognized for their performance during the 2017 Nuclear Operational Readiness Inspection as well as the wing being lauded by the commander of Strategic Command for its near flawless execution of the mission during the exercise.

United States Military Vehicle, File Photo

193rd Special Operations Wing (SOW), Middletown (Dauphin County)

The 193 SOW is home to the only airborne Military Information Support Operations broadcasting platform in the U.S. military. The unit assists civilian authorities during natural disaster or homeland security during peacetime and supports the Air Force Special Operations Command during wartime.

Award citation highlights include the wing successfully executing overseas contingency and domestic operations deployments while maintaining a high rate of readiness. The wing deployed 642 members across 27 nations. Wing members flew 386 combat missions and safely executed 3,000 broadcast hours.

Founded in 1747, the PNG is the third largest National Guard in the nation and is comprised of nearly 20,000 soldiers and airmen who reside in every county across the commonwealth. The PNG is part of the DMVA’s dual mission, which also includes supporting Pennsylvania’s nearly 800,000 veterans.

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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs