Bulldogs Earn 2012 National Guard Bureau's Winston P. Wilson Trophy
By Tech. Sgt. Scott G. Herrington, Tech. Sgt. 148th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 14, 2012
DULUTH, Minn. -- Upholding the 148th Fighter Wing's history and recognition for excellence, the Bulldogs continue their performance record receiving national recognition. On Sept. 12, 2012, the Bulldogs were presented the National Guard Bureau's 2012 Winston P. Wilson Trophy at the National Guard Association of the United States' conference in Reno, Nev.
"It was a proud moment to receive the Winston P. Wilson Trophy in front of current and past Directors of the Air National Guard" said 148th Mission Support Group Commander, Col. Penny Dieryck who received the trophy on behalf of the 148th in Reno.
"Earning the Winston P. Wilson Trophy is just another example of our Wing's motto: 'Legacy of Excellence,'" said 148th Fighter Wing Vice Wing Commander Lt. Col. Jon S. Safstrom. "Once again, the members of the 148th Fighter Wing have been duly recognized for their tremendous work ethic and professionalism. The continuous attention to detail, in order to get the mission done for our state and nation, is what sets us apart from other units."
The Winston P. Wilson Trophy, named after former Chief of the National Guard Bureau Winston P. Wilson, is presented to the most outstanding Air National Guard (ANG) flying unit equipped with fighter or reconnaissance aircraft. The 2012 trophy was presented for outstanding accomplishments in 2011. This is the second time the Wing earned this trophy, the previous award was presented in 1957.
"We simply don't let up or accept doing our jobs in anything less than an 'outstanding' fashion," said Safstrom. "Earning this trophy is an extremely humbling experience, because it means that our efforts here in Duluth, Minn. are being recognized on a national level."
In 2011, the 148th completed a major aircraft conversion to the Block 50 F-16, flew 2047 accident-free sorties, while simultaneously supporting all Aerospace Control Alert (ACA) missions, and executing three intense training deployments. The Bulldogs deployed 73 members to 12 countries in support of contingency operations, supported four State Active Duty missions for fires and floods, and was the first Air Force unit (guard, reserve or active duty) to receive OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program Star Status re-certification. In June the 148th earned a "NORAD Mission Ready" rating after a no-notice Alert Force Evaluation (AFE), and successfully accomplished an Air Traffic System Evaluation (ATSE) in August which assessed air traffic systems that support flying operations at the 148th.
Despite the rigors of conversion, exercises and inspections, the 148th maintained a 91.87% retention rate and a 106% strength rate.