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Wing awarded Spaatz Trophy

The 109th Airlift Wing was awarded the Spaatz Trophy for 2007. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephen Girloami)

The 109th Airlift Wing was awarded the Spaatz Trophy for 2007. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephen Girloami)

STRATTON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.Y. -- The 109th Airlift Wing was awarded the prestigious National Guard Association of the United States' Spaatz Trophy for 2007. 

Lt. Gen. Craig McKinley, Air National Guard director, presented Col. Anthony German, 109th AW commander,  the trophy Sept. 22 during the NGAUS Awards Ceremony in Baltimore.

The Spaatz trophy, named in honor of former Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. Carl S. Spaatz, is presented to the overall outstanding flying unit in the Air National Guard. 

"The Wing superbly executed state and national objectives in the Global War on Terrorism, the United States Antarctic Program and other contingency operations," according to the citation.

As the operator of the Department of Defense's only ski-equipped LC-130H aircraft, the unit achieved new records for Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica while simultaneously significantly expanding its combat operations. 

Notably, the Wing volunteered and filled a short notice Operation Enduring Freedom tasking by deploying two aircraft and four crews with associated maintenance and support personnel. This effort required the Wing to stand-up the unit's first C-130 combat capability since the Vietnam War in only nine months. All the while, the 109th AW sustained its exemplary support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, global operations in the War on Terror and Homeland Security priorities including Operation Jump Start. 

Throughout 2007, the 109th Airlift Wing deployed a total of 684 personnel serving more than 19,300 days to support these global missions. 

"This wing continues to provide extraordinary service to this state and to this great nation," Colonel German said. "I am proud of our Airmen for continuing to excel in the performance of their duties, whether it be here at home, in Antarctica, Greenland or in hostile lands supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. This award reflects the dedication given by all to make the 109th Airlift Wing the best in the world."

Selection is based on overall combat readiness and the unit's performance with respect to all other Air Guard flying units, according to the NGAUS Web site. Factors included in the evaluation are flying safety, aircraft operation readiness, weapons firing, unit alerts, unit manning, skill level qualifications, retention, drill attendance, operational readiness inspections, outstanding accomplishments and special missions and exercises.