176th Wing named Air Force Outstanding Unit Published March 26, 2008 By Brig. General Tony Hart Commander, 176th Wing KULIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Alaska -- I am deeply honored to report that the Air Force has named the 176th Wing as a recipient of the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for our service to the nation from Aug. 31, 2005 to Sept. 1, 2007. It is a competitive award, but even before we completed our application, there was no doubt our organization would meet the high criteria. The Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (AFOUA) was first created in 1954, just seven years after the Air Force was formed. It is presented to commands of the U.S. Air Force -- including Reserve and Air National Guard units -- which perform: exceptionally meritorious service, accomplish specific acts of outstanding achievement, excel in combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States, or conduct with distinction military operations involving conflict with, or exposure to, a hostile action by any opposing foreign force. As the accompanying citation (here) makes clear, our list of accomplishments during this time includes numerous examples of meritorious service and outstanding achievement. These were all made possible by an organization of dedicated traditional and full-time Guard members working around the clock, seven days a week to protect our nation's borders and help secure her interests abroad. I am profoundly grateful for the work you have done and continue to do, and am honored to serve with you. I would also like to express my personal appreciation to those Wing members -- particularly Lt. Col. Kim Kelm; members of the 176th Air Control Squadron, including Lt. Col. Reece Baldwin and CMSgt. Ron Grether; and all the unit commanders who submitted input for the award application. On short notice, they used good recordkeeping and organization to complete and submit a successful award recommendation. Thank you, all of you, for helping your fellow airmen get the recognition they deserve.