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A Tradition of Excellence

SWANTON, Ohio -- The Air Force Outstanding Unit Award has been awarded to the 180th Fighter Wing, located at Toledo Express Airport, Swanton, Ohio, for the period of October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2014.

The award, presented in fall of 2015, on behalf of the Secretary of the Air Force, recognizes the meritorious service and accomplishments of a numbered unit that has clearly set themselves above other units across the country.

Several factors contribute to the selection of a unit for the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. A two-year snapshot of the achievements by Stinger Airmen culminates in the selection of the 180 FW for the award. This recognition stems from exceeding standards in major inspections, evaluations and unparalleled operational success.

"For the second year in a row, the 180 FW received the highest possible 'mission ready' grade during the 2014 North American Air Defense Alert Forces Evaluation," said Col. Craig Baker, commander of the 180 FW. "This is truly a testament to our Airmen's dedication, their hard work never waivers and they continue to impress me." 

The evaluation, an annual inspection of our Airmen's ability to successfully perform our nation's number one homeland defense mission, Aerospace Control Alert, resulted in Toledo receiving a "best seen to date" rating, according to Baker. 

During the award period, the 180 FW ACA mission also responded to the first-ever cross-border operation by escorting a civilian airline, with a bomb threat to safety, safeguarding critical lives and infrastructure.  In addition, the ACA mission provided Combat Air Patrol coverage for the President of the United States during the 2012 election season and coverage for the 2014 NATO Summit, ensuring the safety and security of world leaders and protecting 60 percent of the U.S. population.

In 2012, the 180 FW achieved a 99.6 percent compliance rate for the Air Combat Command Unit Compliance Inspection, producing an unprecedented eight superior performance teams and 30 superior performers, Baker mentioned.

"Because of the direct actions of our Stinger Airmen, several teams and an unprecedented number of individuals were given special recognition during various inspections and audits throughout the two-year time frame," said Baker. "This award really validates how efficient, skilled and knowledgeable our Airmen are at their jobs, every day, year after year, they come to work ready to be the best."

Since the Department of the Air Force authorized the award in 1954, the 180th Fighter Wing has only received this honor five times in the past 62 years.
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