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379th Expeditionary Maintenance Group awarded the Citation of Honor, David C. Schilling Award

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jordan Martin
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

The 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Group at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, won big with multiple aerospace awards presented by the Air Force Association.

The 379th EMXG was awarded the Citation of Honor, and the 379th Expeditionary Air Maintenance Squadron received the David C. Schilling award – both are aerospace awards sponsored by the AFA, which is a non-profit organization that aims to promote public understanding of aerospace power and its critical role in national security. Their national aerospace awards are announced yearly at their Air, Space & Cyber Conference in Washington D.C.

The 379th EMXG was recognized with the citation for their “outstanding contribution to the development of aerospace power for the betterment of mankind.”

“Winning one Air Force-level award is an exceptional accomplishment for any organization,” said Col. Craig Giles, commander of the 379th EMXG. “Winning two Air Force-level unit awards in the same maintenance group really validates the hard work, innovation and exceptional results that members of 379th EAMXS and the entire 379th EMXG delivered during 2021.”

The over 4,800 active-duty, Guard and Reserve Airmen deployed to the maintenance group manage seven unique airframes and collectively generated over 6,000 safe and effective combat sorties in support of the U.S. Central Command mission.

The 379th EAMXS was recognized with the David C. Schilling award for their “most outstanding contribution to the field of flight.” They join the ranks of previous award winners, including former President Herbert H. Hoover and famed World War II ace, Maj. Charles E. Yeager.

“The Maverick Maintainers of the 379 EAMXS are just that – mavericks. We think differently, solve problems and don’t let anyone get in our way,” said Lt. Col. Frederick Jackson, commander of the 379th EAMXS. “You cannot generate that many sorties on that many weapons systems if you live inside the box or live in fear for what tomorrow may bring.”

As the largest U.S. Air Forces Central tanker operation, the 379th EAMXS powered through adversity and accelerated change – developing and implementing the first operational KC-135 Stratotanker hot refueling mission in the aircraft’s 65-year history.

“We knew we needed this capability to ensure our aircraft’s survivability in a peer conflict,” said Jackson. “We got to yes in less than 60 days, established the first sustainable training regimen and fundamentally changed KC-135 operations forever.”

The recognitions received by the 379th EMXG represent a lasting legacy, continuously forged through dedication and innovation.

“Receiving the Citation of Honor and the David C. Schilling award really is a team effort,” said Brig. Gen. Dan Tulley, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing commander. “The 379th Maintenance Group and squadrons, from Airmen to commanders, work tirelessly every day to ensure we accomplish the mission and win today’s fight across the U.S. Air Forces Central area of responsibility. This is a big accomplishment, and I am extremely proud of what these Airmen have done and continue to do. I am honored and humbled to serve alongside them, and I learn more from them than they will ever know.