The 56th Fighter Wing has an illustrious history of accomplishments and awards, and another chapter was added to that history.
The results for the Air Force Outstanding Unit were released Feb. 27 from Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, and Luke Air Force Base’s 56th FW was awarded an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the period of July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012. Luke was one of 11 bases to receive the award.
“I’m incredibly proud of our Thunderbolts who continue to excel in supporting our war fighting mission,” said Brig. Gen. Mike Rothstein, 56th FW commander. “Every day they demonstrate the highest levels of professionalism, knowledge and technical skills. The work of each Airman has contributed to Luke’s ability to provide the highest quality F-16 pilots and maintainers for Air Force needs around the world.”
In part, the award citation also says the 56th FW trained more than 323 F-16 pilots, 1,093 maintainers, and 68 F-16 intelligence professionals, while also deploying more than 484 Airmen. The wing provides award winning base support functions for 4,600 military, 1,000 civilians, 65,000 retirees and more than 6,000 dependents, and these accomplishments culminated with the wing earning an “Excellent” rating on the command’s 2011 unit compliance inspection.
A number of wings also received an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award at the same time.
“Periodically, the Air Force through its major commands, gives awards to units that have done well,” said Richard Griset, 56th FW historian. “Just because one unit receives this award does not mean it is the only unit in the major command to receive the same award for that time period.”
Luke received notification of this award Sept. 28. This was the 21st Outstanding Unit Award the wing has received, Griset said.
Service members assigned to the 56th operations, maintenance, mission support and medical groups, to include wing staff agencies, during the aforementioned time period are authorized to wear the ribbon. The outstanding unit award ribbon is worn after the Joint Meritorious Unit Award and before the Organizational Excellence Award.
The Air Force Outstanding Unit award was created and authorized by Air Force General Order 1 Jan. 6, 1954, and Air Force Instruction 36-2803 describes the award in greater detail.
The 56th FW last received this award for the period July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2009.