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386th AEW receives Meritorious Unit Award

Meritorious Unit Award, presented to USAF Active Duty, AFRes, and ANG units for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding achievement or service indirect support of combat operations for at least 90 continuous days during the period of military operations against an armed enemy of the US on or after 11 Sep 2001. Air Force Awards and Decorations (enhance color), U.S. Air Force graphic, AFNEWS/PAND.  The JPG image is a stylized version whereas the EPS version is a two-dimensional line art illustration.

Meritorious Unit Award, presented to USAF Active Duty, AFRes, and ANG units for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding achievement or service indirect support of combat operations for at least 90 continuous days during the period of military operations against an armed enemy of the US on or after 11 Sep 2001. Air Force Awards and Decorations (enhance color), U.S. Air Force graphic, AFNEWS/PAND. The JPG image is a stylized version whereas the EPS version is a two-dimensional line art illustration.

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Performance, determination and sacrifice. These three words explain why the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing just received its fifth consecutive Air Force Meritorious Unit Award, wing leaders said.

The award is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in direct support of combat operations for at least 90 continuous days. Units must display such outstanding performance of exceptionally difficult tasks as to set them above other units with similar missions, said Col. Patrick X. Mordente, wing commander.

The wing earned its latest honor in recognition of superior accomplishments from June 2009 to May 2010.

"This is an outstanding reflection of how the Airmen here support the mission," said Colonel Mordente. "The Airmen who come through here are, without a doubt, the best at what they do. They always leave it better than how they found it, and they continue to strive for excellence so those Airmen who come in after them can continue to build on their success. Job well done."

According to the award citation, the 386th AEW executed more than 14,900 airlift sorties while maintaining a 98.5 percent mission effectiveness rate in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, and Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. More than 635,000 passengers and 193,000 tons of cargo were airlifted within theater, while the wing's combat truckers traveled over 13 million miles of road to deliver 733,000 tons of supplies, equipment and munitions throughout Iraq and the host nation here. The wing also operated the largest internment facility in the Department of Defense, safeguarding more than 32,000 detainees and conducting 6,400 area security patrols, all the while providing operational support for the U.S. Central Command's busiest aerial port of debarkation, a facility that generated more than 5,000 flights carrying passengers and cargo into, out of and around the theater of operations.

Airmen here also developed the first embedded host-nation security forces training program in the U.S. Air Force's AOR.

"The 386th AEW has had a tradition of success since the beginning," Colonel Mordente said. "This won't stop as we continue to build relationships and continue the joint effort in support of Operation New Dawn, Operation Enduring Freedom and JTF Horn of Africa."

The 386th Air Expeditionary Wing is the primary aerial hub for Iraq and provides airlift support for Operation New Dawn, Operation Enduring Freedom and the Horn of Africa. The wing's achievements have been recognized at the highest levels of the Air Force this year, as USAF leaders like Air Combat Command commander Gen. William M. Fraser III gave praise to 386th Airmen during their visits here.

"We have a lot of challenges, but you are standing up to those challenges and turning them into opportunities to excel," he told the wing's Airmen during a July 18 Airmen's call. "Without you, we would not be able to do what we do in so many places throughout the AOR."

The meritorious unit award ribbon is worn before the Air Force outstanding unit award. Subsequent awards should be denoted by oak leaf clusters. For more information about the meritorious unit award, check out the fact sheet on the Air Force Personnel Web site http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=7784.