176th Operations Group named outstanding unit of the year Published Oct. 3, 2010 By Staff Sgt. N. Alicia Goldberger 176th Wing Public Affairs KULIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Alaska -- The 176th Operations Group of the Alaska Air National Guard won the 2010 Outstanding Air National Guard Unit of the Year on Sept. 13 in Washington, D.C., at the Air Force Association's (AFA) annual convention. The award is given to the ANG unit that demonstrates the most outstanding airmanship during the prior year. In 2009, the operations group: Used C-17 cargo jets to evacuate Elmendorf Air Force Base's F-22 and F-15 fighter jets to safer areas during the volcanic eruption of Mount Redoubt Provided rescue capability in support of U.S. special operations forces in the Philippines Blocked all Russian long-range flights from entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone via the group's 176th Air Control Squadron Provided airlift mission support for high-security presidential flights Saved 35 lives and helped 11 others to safety in isolated area around Alaska by means of the group's rescue squadrons Visited more than 15 remote villages and delivered more than 1,500 gifts as part of Operation Santa Claus This was just a snapshot of a typical year at the operations group, said Col. Carlisle A. Lincoln, the group commander, who accepted the award on the group's behalf. Air National Guard units around the country compete for the award. This was the first year the 176th Operations Group put in for the award. The group learned of its victory about 72 hours after submitting their nomination package, Lincoln said. They are considering re-submitting next year, Lincoln said. "This award is a result of the entire wing's efforts," he said.