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Peoria’s Air National Guard unit receives 10th Outstanding Unit Award

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Lealan Buehrer
  • 182nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The Airmen of the Illinois Air National Guard’s 182nd Airlift Wing received the unit’s 10th Air Force Outstanding Unit Award from director of the Air National Guard Lt. Gen. Michael Loh at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Oct. 12, 2021.

The Peoria, Illinois-based unit is comprised of more than 1,200 Airmen from across the United States whose supporting missions including air mobility, special warfare, combat communications, and the Air Force Band of the Midwest.

The most recent Outstanding Unit Award was awarded for exceptionally meritorious service for services rendered to the nation from Oct. 1, 2018, to Sept. 30, 2020.

“The Outstanding Unit Award is a testament to the dedicated hard work of the members of the 182nd,” said Col. Daniel McDonough, the commander of the 182nd Airlift Wing. “This award represents the Air Force acknowledging what many of us have known for decades — that the work ethic and accomplishments of the men and women of this wing are truly exceptional. Members of the 182nd should be proud to be recognized for their efforts.”

The wing was applauded for deploying four C-130 Hercules aircraft, 360 personnel and associated mission support equipment to various hostile areas in addition to supporting unprecedented domestic response operations during the award period. These domestic operations included mobilizations supporting COVID-19 pandemic response, civil unrest in Illinois and Washington, D.C., and 2020 election cybersecurity.

Despite the high operations tempo, the unit was cited for accomplishing the Air Force mission “with a maximum degree of war readiness while supporting our National Security Strategy.”

Leaders credited the unit for a “culture of dedication to mission success” evidenced by C-130 aircraft Mission Capable Rates of 85.7 percent (Fiscal Year 2019) and 82.61 percent (Fiscal Year 2020) — the highest in all of Air Mobility Command.

“This is an outstanding unit because of the Airmen,” said Chief Master Sgt. Douglas Turner, the wing’s command chief. “What makes me most proud about the 182nd Airlift Wing is the work ethic, can-do attitude and diversity that our Airmen display daily. Not only do our people work well together in Peoria, they succeed in building mission partners and accomplishing the mission throughout the world.”

The Air Force Outstanding Unit Award is awarded by the Secretary of the Air Force to numbered units that have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service or outstanding achievement that clearly sets the unit above and apart from similar units. The services include: performance of exceptionally meritorious service, accomplishment of a specific outstanding achievement of national or international significance, combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States, or military operations involving conflict with or exposure to hostile actions by an opposing foreign force.

The 2021 award marks the 182nd Airlift Wing’s 7th consecutive time earning the service-level honor. The unit previously received the award in 1979, 1986, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019.