NY Air Guard's 174th Attack Wing earns Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Barbara Olney
  • 174th Attack Wing

The Airmen of the New York Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing have been awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for their service from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

The Outstanding Unit Award recognizes Air Force units, which includes the Air National Guard, “ that have distinguished themselves by meritorious service or outstanding achievement that clearly sets the unit above and apart from others” and for “excelling in combat operations.”

Members of the wing who served during 2020 are entitled to wear a ribbon reflecting the award to the unit.

The 174th Attack Wing is based at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base and operates the MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft. The wing also conducts training for MQ-9 pilots and sensor operators, and MQ-9 maintenance personal for the entire Air Force.

According to the award citation, the Airmen of the 174th Attack Wing “attained a score of unprecedented achievements as they demonstrated unwavering commitment to the State of New York and the United States of America.”

Colonel William McCrink III, the wing commander, praised the wing’s Airmen for the hard work they put in accomplishing their missions in 2020 and added that he was proud of their accomplishment.

“I am humbled and grateful to be part of this group of Airmen that clearly dedicated their careers in service of both the state and the country,” McCrink said.

The accomplishments cited included: executing more than 7,400 MQ-9 flying hours in support of Operations Freedom Sentinel—the military operation in Afghanistan during 2020-- and participating in the New York National Guard’s COVID-19 response mission.

While conducting these missions the wing also received a favorable evaluation during a Unit Effectiveness Evaluation, which examined all of the wings operations and missions.

“Our airmen performed incredibly well in 2020 as demonstrated by continuing all of our federal missions amidst worldwide pandemic, in addition to all of our state tasking’s involving upwards of two-hundred personnel, said Col. Charles Hutson, the wing’s vice commander.

During this period, the 152nd Air Operations Group, which is a part of the wing, conducted a training program for Joint Air Component Coordination Elements from the Active Air Force, the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard.

These units are composed Airmen, led by a general officer, whose mission is to work at the headquarters of ground commanders to coordinate Air Force support for American and allied forces during combat operations.