Monday, April 30, 2007

TOP STORY >>314th earns AF Outstanding Unit Award

By 2nd Lt. Kelly George
314th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 314th Airlift Wing was recently awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for exceptionally meritorious service from July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2006.

As the world’s largest C-130 base, the wing produced over 1,800 combat Airmen annually through the training mission here.
"Our world class C-130 aircrews have worked tirelessly to get graduation rates to an all time high...They've made history training our allies, and helping to stand up the first Iraqi air force. I'm extremely proud of their hard work and the recognition they've received," said Col. Rudy Byrne, 314th Airlift Wing Operatins Group commander.The C-130 school house trained members from four services and 31 nations, including Iraq.

Base Airmen made history, driving the initial stand-up of the Iraqi air force, resulting in the first successful Iraqi solo flight in November of 2005.

“The wing, our base partners, and community leaders have played a vital role in ensuring the success of the 314th Airlift Wing, and the role we play in the Global War on Terror. This award is a testament to our outstanding Airmen who work hard through challenging circumstances and continue to do so with a selfless sprit of service. I’m very proud of their accomplishments,” said Brig. Gen. Kip Self, 314th AW commander.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, in addition to carrying out the day-to-day mission, the base was the focal point for the largest international aid reception in U.S. history.

“The Mission Support Group played a vital role in supporting our Air Force family evacuees from Keelser AFB, as well as ensuring millions of pounds of relief were staged to be delivered to our neighbors on the Gulf Coast. They are the backbone of this base, and I’m very proud of their accomplishments,” said Col. Scott Lockard, 314 Airlift Wing Mission Support Group commander. The base coordinated the staging of 58 aircraft from 20 countries, delivering 3.9 million pounds of relief supplies to the gulf coast.

In the face of aging C-130 aircraft, the 314th Maintenance Group inspected 66 aircraft for center wing cracks, and performed 29 major repairs. These repairs averted the Air Force $8.4 million in depot costs.

“The ‘Rock’ maintainers played a leading role as the wing flawlessly accomplished its No.1 priority, training C-130 aircrew students, and supported worldwide deployments for the Global War on Terror,” said Col. Howard Shelwood, 314th Airlift Wing Maintenance Group commander.

“These committed, dedicated, and professional Airmen did a magnificent job maintaining the aging C-130E aircraft fleet as well as the newer C-130J fleet. Their contributions in Afghanistan and Iraq for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom are also extremely noteworthy. I am very honored and proud to serve with each and every one of my Airmen.”
Maintainers also boast a number of Innovative Development through Employee Awareness, or IDEA, program winners. The program submitters suggested making critical changes for C-130 engine, propeller, and liquid oxygen systems, saving the Air Force $1.8 million annually.

The 314th Medical Group underwent major changes in the past year, including six facility projects and $4 million in infrastructure upgrades; improving the provider’s ability to deliver excellent patient care. More than 36,000 patients benefited from these renovations.

“I am extremely proud of our award-winning, high-performing team (military, civilian, contract, and volunteer) of medics. I am also elated that we have realized an unprecedented time-period of modernization … those modernization efforts will have a long lasting impact on the men and women of Little Rock Air Force Base,” said Lt. Col. John Powers, acting 314th Airlift Wing MDG commander.

The medical group had the No. 1 rated dental clinic in Air Education and Training Command. The base showed off these assets and more during the AETC civic leader tour.

Twenty-two community leaders from the command’s 13 base communities in the command were hosted by AETC commander Gen. William R. Looney III and Gen. Self at the base; resulting in the education of key leaders to the importance of the C-130 training mission.

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