171st Awarded Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Bryan Hoover
  • 171st Air Refueling Wing

The 171st Air Refueling Wing has recently earned the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for meritorious service from Jan. 1, 2019, through Dec. 31, 2020. 


This OUA is the 11th award of its kind given to the Pittsburgh-based Pennsylvania Air National Guard unit. 


The 171st was recognized for many accomplishments during this period specifically due to its direct support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, United States Central Command, and United States Indo-Pacific Command with direct involvement in Operations Noble Eagle, Inherent Resolve, and Freedom’s Sentinel. 


Some other recognitions within the award citation include the mobilization of nearly 250 people (a quarter of the unit) and moving 21.1 tons of cargo. Additionally, the units fleet of KC-135’s flew 5,500 combat missions, offloading over 21-million pounds of jet fuel to receiving aircraft. 


Finally, a major contributor to receiving the award is the 171st superlative operational flight safety culture and leadership. The wing continued its 62 year, 283,000 flight hour record without a Class A mishap. Class A mishaps occur when there are more than two million dollars in damage to the aircraft, the aircraft is destroyed, or a member of the crew is killed or disabled. Because of this continued strive for excellence, the 171st was recognized as the best Air National Guard Safety Office and garnered the Safety Non-Commissioned Officer and Safety Officer of the year for 2020. 


All people assigned or attached to the 171st for at least one day during the period for which a unit award was awarded, and who directly contributed to the mission and accomplishments of the unit, are authorized to wear the appropriate award ribbon on their uniforms.