SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, SC — Air Combat Command officials named the 20th Fighter Wing among the winners of the 2013 ACC Meritorious Unit Award Monday, August 19, 2013 for performance of outstanding service to the United States from June 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013.
This prestigious honor is awarded to Air Force active duty, Reserve and Guard units for exceptionally meritorious conduct in direct support of combat operations for at least 90 continuous days against an armed enemy of the United States on or after Sept. 11, 2001. The unit must display outstanding devotion and superior performance while completing extremely difficult tasks to set it apart from other units with similar missions.
The wing was previously awarded the Air Combat Command Meritorious Unit Award from the periods of: June 1, 2011 – May 31, 2012; June 1, 2009- May 31, 2011 and June 1, 2007-May 31, 2009 for its commitment to excellence both at home and downrange.
During the award period, the wing deployed 18 F-16 Fighting Falcons and 255 Airmen to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. While there, the unit flew more than 2,800 combat flights and supported 85 “Troops-In-Contact” events with the resulting destruction of numerous weapons caches, 35 roadside bombs and the elimination of 118 enemy combatants.
During the same period, the 20th Fighter Wing also deployed 24 F-16 Fighting Falcons and 373 Airmen to the Republic of Korea in support of United States Pacific Command. At home station the wing flew 506 hours under Operation NOBLE EAGLE, including securing the National Capital Region in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
“The Airmen of the 20th Fighter Wing should be proud of themselves,” said U.S. Air Force Colonel Clay Hall, 20th Fighter Wing commander. “Our success during combat operations is a product of the entire wing’s dedication and commitment to excellence. It’s awesome to watch the 2oth Fighter Wing in action.”
“The level of sustained high performance the wing has reached shows there is no sign of let up,” Hall added. “We need to stay focused and continue training efficiently to maintain our high standards of performance as we generate, deploy, and employ F-16s in defense of our Nation.”