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NEWS | Dec. 4, 2013

437th AW wins Meritorious Unit Award, 628th ABW wins Outstanding Unit Award

By Senior Airman Dennis Sloan Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

The 437th Airlift Wing recently received the Air Force Meritorious Unit Award for the period July 1, 2012, through June 20, 2013, and the 628th Air Base Wing was recently presented the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for fiscal year 2012.

437th Airlift Wing
"It is an honor for the 437th AW to receive the Meritorious Unit Award, but it is not surprising," said Capt. Molly Peterson, 437th AW C-17 Globemaster III pilot who wrote the award package.

The 437th AW top accomplishments for the year include: more than 5,000 sorties in support of Overseas Contingency Missions. The Wing airlifted 27 percent of the total cargo tasked by Tanker Airlift Control Center in 2012 and maintained an outstanding 94 percent departure reliability rate - far above the Air Mobility Command average.

"Also, the humanitarian relief provided in support of Hurricane Sandy was extraordinary," said Peterson. "Four ALPHA alerts were launched for the relief effort, and the 437th Maintenance Group provided maintenance support to more than 40 Sandy relief missions."

On the training side, the 437th AW combined its maintenance and operations talents to launch its first large formation exercise in three years - 13 aircraft airborne at one time. Overall, more than 600 training events were accomplished, validating the mission.

The 437th AW is the number one C-17 Wing in AMC, and maintains the largest Aircrew Flight Equipment Shop. It also has the only C-17 Special Operations Low Level II program in the Air Force, and last year more than 30 alert launches occurred in support of Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed tasking's.

"This award not only validates our ability to safely provide precise, reliable airlift worldwide, but it is a true testament to the hard work of the men and women of the 437th," said Col. Darren Hartford, 437th AW commander."

628th Air Base Wing
The 628th ABW has won an OUA every year since it was established as part of joint basing in 2010.

"This is huge for JB Charleston," said Lt. Col. Michael Moyles, 628th Mission Support Group deputy commander who wrote the award package. "Given that our previous award covered 2010 - 2012, this essentially means we've been considered an elite "outstanding unit" at the Air Force level ever since we've been a joint base. The award regulation states that it is awarded for 'outstanding achievement that clearly sets the unit above and apart from similar units,' and that is certainly the case here."

The 628th ABW had several major accomplishments throughout the year to include: meeting 92 percent of the Joint Basing Common Output Level Standards during sequestration, furlough and shutdown, as well as completing the well over $40 million dollar runway reconstruction project.

"Facing the wettest summer in memory, along with more than 40,000 cubic yards of unsuitable soils that had to be removed and replaced, and doing it all without interrupting traffic flow on the primary runway for both the International Airport and the joint base ... that kind of accomplishment is only possible with seamless partnership and highly effective communication across all three Wings and our Charleston County Aviation Authority partners," said Moyles.

Several units in the 628th ABW received recognition throughout the year to include: the number one Logistics Readiness Squadron in AMC Gerrity Award, the number one Contracting Squadron Small Business Program in AMC, the number one Physical Therapy clinic in AMC, as well as one of the top environmental and housing management teams in the command. The Air Force also announced Todd Martin as the top Civil Engineer civilian in the entire Air Force.

"The Air Force Outstanding Unit Award spans all Wings and all of our mission partners - more than 50 of them. Don't be deceived by the 'Air Force' in the award title - that signifies who grants the award, not who earned it," said Moyles.

"We can look at our partners in the 437th MXG with the best non-mission-capable supply rate in the command, or the Naval Munitions Command's incredible 98.4 percent score on their Mine Readiness Certification, or the fact that the 841st Transportation Battalion moved 48 percent of all DOD surface cargo through their port. These are just a few examples of the incredible work of our Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers and Marines, all of which contributed to this award."

"The 628th Air Base Wing had a banner year and is more than deserving of this award. I am proud of their efforts in how they provide critical support to our Mission Partners," said Col Jeffrey DeVore, 628th Air Base Wing Commander. "The trick will be how we sustain that level of support our Mission Partners have come to expect from us. I look forward to that
challenge in 2014."