Wing earns outstanding unit award
By Capt. Larry Kohlman, 446th Airlift Wing
/ Published February 21, 2006
McChord Air Force Base, Wash. -- The accumulative efforts of the men and women of the 446 Airlift Wing have resulted in the wing receiving the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. Each member assigned to the wing from Oct. 1, 2003 through Sept. 30, 2005 is a recipient of this award.
“This has been a long-deserved award for the wing; for everyone’s dedication and achievements made throughout the last several years,” said Col. Eric Crabtree, 446th AW commander.
The 446th AW overflows with facts and statistics of excellence. Overall the wing generated more flight hours than any other C-17 aircraft wing, resulting in the best mission capable rate and the best departure rate in Air Mobility Command.
The wing simultaneously maintained an outstanding safety record of no class A or B mishaps.
Award winners like Maj. Stephen Geringer, staff judge advocate, contributed to the success of the wing. He won the Outstanding Staff Judge Advocate in Air Force Reserve Command.
Another accolade was winning the Best C-17 Wing trophy at Air Mobility Command’s Rodeo 2005. This was one of six trophies earned by the teams that represented the wing.
“While all our teams did not get individual event trophies, they all did a great,” said Lt. Col. Greg Pyke, Wing Rodeo team chief. “We would not have taken the Best C-17 Wing if they hadn’t,” he said.
In response of the Global War on Terrorism, 18 units were mobilized or partially mobilized, with many Reservists repeatedly volunteering for deployments.
From 2003 to 2005, more than half of the 446AW Reservists performed duty in Afghanistan, Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. The wing concurrently supported major operations in the United States, Germany, Spain and Turkey.
These deployments generated more than 10,000 sorties of which 2,100 sorties were flown in combat. Total flight hours added up to more than 52,000, with 8,200 combat flight hours. The wing was responsible for delivering more than 59,000 passengers, 2 million tons of cargo, 19,000 pallets of cargo, and 4,500 pieces of rolling stock into areas of combat operations.
Beyond providing more than 60 percent of the missions originating at McChord, the wing also had the honor of bringing home servicemembers from abroad. Medical evacuations and repatriating the remains of fallen servicemembers from Afghanistan and Iraq, and even Vietnam, were an imperative part of the overall mission.
Tech. Sgt Dave Rose, 446th Services flight provided support for repatriation missions.
Sergeant Rose deployed to the Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs at Dover AFB, Del. It was his job to identify the fallen servicemembers and prepare them for their final resting places.
“It makes me fell good to help the families out by doing what I’m doing, said Sergeant Rose while deployed. He made sure each fallen servicemember was adorned perfectly in their uniforms.
Each member of the 446thAW had a direct or indirect impact on everything this wing has achieved. The Outstanding Unit Award medal is a symbol that the members of the 446th AW emulate the Air Force core values; integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do.