Lt General Craig McKinley presents Outstanding Unit Award

U.S. Air Force Lt Gen Craig McKinley, Director of the Air National Guard presents the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. with the Outstanding Unit Award on June 15, 2008 during an awards ceremony.  The wing received the Outstanding Unit Award for its involvement in multiple deployments in the United States and overseas, high recruiting and retention rates, and exceptional inspection results.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Donald Acton)  (Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt Gen Craig McKinley, Director of the Air National Guard presents the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. with the Outstanding Unit Award on June 15, 2008 during an awards ceremony. The wing received the Outstanding Unit Award for its involvement in multiple deployments in the United States and overseas, high recruiting and retention rates, and exceptional inspection results. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Donald Acton) (Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt Gen Craig McKinley, Director of the Air National Guard presents the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. with the Outstanding Unit Award on June 15, 2008 during an awards ceremony.  The wing received the Outstanding Unit Award for its involvement in multiple deployments in the United States and overseas, high recruiting and retention rates, and exceptional inspection results.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Donald Acton)  (Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt Gen Craig McKinley, Director of the Air National Guard presents the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. with the Outstanding Unit Award on June 15, 2008 during an awards ceremony. The wing received the Outstanding Unit Award for its involvement in multiple deployments in the United States and overseas, high recruiting and retention rates, and exceptional inspection results. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Donald Acton) (Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt Gen Craig McKinley, Director of the Air National Guard presents the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. with the Outstanding Unit Award on June 15, 2008 during an awards ceremony.  The wing received the Outstanding Unit Award for its involvement in multiple deployments in the United States and overseas, high recruiting and retention rates, and exceptional inspection results.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brett R. Ewald)  (Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt Gen Craig McKinley, Director of the Air National Guard presents the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. with the Outstanding Unit Award on June 15, 2008 during an awards ceremony. The wing received the Outstanding Unit Award for its involvement in multiple deployments in the United States and overseas, high recruiting and retention rates, and exceptional inspection results. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brett R. Ewald) (Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt Gen Craig McKinley, Director of the Air National Guard presents the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. with the Outstanding Unit Award on June 15, 2008 during an awards ceremony.  The wing received the Outstanding Unit Award for its involvement in multiple deployments in the United States and overseas, high recruiting and retention rates, and exceptional inspection results.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brett R. Ewald)  (Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt Gen Craig McKinley, Director of the Air National Guard presents the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. with the Outstanding Unit Award on June 15, 2008 during an awards ceremony. The wing received the Outstanding Unit Award for its involvement in multiple deployments in the United States and overseas, high recruiting and retention rates, and exceptional inspection results. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brett R. Ewald) (Released)

Duluth, Minn. -- The 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. had the distinct honor of having Lt General Craig R. McKinley, Director of the Air National Guard present the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award to the dedicated men and women of the wing at an awards ceremony in Duluth, Minn. on June 15, 2008. 

The Air Force Outstanding Unit Award is awarded by the Secretary of the Air Force to numbered units which have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service or outstanding achievement that clearly sets the unit above its peers. 

The award citation reads as follows:
The 148th Fighter Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard, distinguished itself by exceptionally meritorious service from 1 November 2005 to 31 October 2007. During this period, the 148th responded to all challenges with enthusiasm and professionalism, directly supporting Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, NOBLE EAGLE and JUMP START. 390 148th personnel supported the Global War on Terror at deployed locations; providing personnel, aircraft and equipment to execute 581 combat sorties at Balad Air Base and Expeditionary Combat Support throughout the CENTCOM region. The 148th continued its home station 24/7 Air Sovereignty Alert mission and quickly responded to the Air Force by deploying to Shaw Air Force Base; standing up a second Alert mission with 33-hours notice. Members of the 148th continued to excel by earning an "Excellent" Operational Readiness Inspection rating, two "Outstanding" COMSEC inspection ratings, an "Outstanding" Stan/Eval Inspection rating, and "Outstanding and Excellent" ratings in two Alert Force Evaluations. Additionally, the 148th recruited to 105.18% end strength, retained 93.5% of its personnel and contributed 9900 hours of community service. The distinctive accomplishments of the 148th Fighter Wing reflect great credit upon themselves, the Minnesota Air National Guard, and the United States Air Force. 

This is the fourth time the 148th has received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. The unit also received the award in 1979, 1988 and 1999.