Activated squadron garners Verne Orr award
By Sandra Pishner, 446th Airlift Wing
/ Published March 21, 2006
MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Winston Churchill would be very proud of the 313th Airlift Squadron. The flying warriors of this C-17 squadron have done so much for so many so effectively that they have earned the 4th Air Force’s nomination for the Verne Orr Award.
("Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few," said Winston Churchill in a speech made in the House of Commons as the Battle Britain peaked on Aug. 20, 1940.)
The Verne Orr award recognizes an Air Force unit (active or Reserve) that makes the most effective use of its human resources. The Air Force Association established this award in honor of former Secretary of the Air Force Verne Orr.
Mobilized throughout 2005, the 313th AS Airmen flew 50 percent more missions than any other Reserve C-17 unit; missions that included aeromedical evacuations, airlifting armor plating and newly-armored Humvees into the Iraq theater, as well as humanitarian relief airlifts carrying aid to regions hit by an earthquake, tsunami or hurricane.
“We’ve airlifted more than 100 million pounds of mission-essential war cargo and more than 33,000 combat troops to austere fields in the war zone,” said Lt. Col. Eric Newhouse, 313th AS commander. “Our citizen Airmen contribute directly to the global war on terrorism.”
In addition to their operational achievements, the Reserve Airmen used their talents to create three benchmark programs that provided flexible, comprehensive management tools. Tools for managing information about: individual/squadron missions, mobility equipment tracking and maintenance, and training issues such as currency for flyers.
“We had a tremendous year operationally, but we really set ourselves apart through innovation,” said Maj. Mark Boyd, squadron executive officer.
“The 313 AS has history of creating, then sharing, useful new programs. We spearheaded the C-17’s transition to electronic publications, or ‘E-Pubs’, a couple of years ago and we are proud to lead the way with these new programs now,” adds Lt. Col. Michael Feltman, the squadron’s chief executive officer. “These are truly amazing tools created by some very talented individuals in our squadron and we are excited to share them with other units.”
The squadron will now compete at the Air Force Reserve Command level, where the proud Airmen hope to snag the AFRC nomination to the Air Force level award.
“The 313th has done it all,” said Lt. Col. Colin Carr, chief pilot for the squadron. “We’ve flown 5,500 hours in combat, carried essential troops and cargo into a war zone, all the while keeping up our training and serving the needs of thousands with humanitarian airlifts. All 100 percent safely and 100 percent effectively. Our Reservists have a lot to be proud of.”