Latest news media coverage:
188th Fighter Wing Honored For Service - Video - KHBS NW Arkansas
Some video screen shots:
Nose art of A-10C 80-0188, the 188th Fighter Wing's flagship.
A-10C 80-0188. Close-up view of the Fort Smith inscription.
A-10C 80-0188. The new Air Force Outstanding Unit Award emblem is still hidden by a piece of tapped paper.
A-10C 80-0188. Air Force members are unveiling the new Air Force Outstanding Unit Award emblem.
A-10C 80-0188. The new Air Force Outstanding Unit Award emblem is unvailed now.
A-10C 80-0188. Col. Tom Anderson is interviewed.
188th earns 'Outstanding Unit' award
The City Wire
Submitted by The City Wire staff on Wed, 04/13/2011 - 9:17am
The 188th Fighter Wing has earned the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, with the new award emblem to be affixed to the unit's A-10 aircraft.
Presentation of an A-10 with the new emblem is scheduled for 11 a.m., Thursday (April 14), at the base. Col. Tom Anderson, 188th Fighter Wing commander, is expected to provide details on the accomplishments that resulted in the award.
The 188th Fighter Wing obtained a new flying mission despite initial recommendations from the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) to end the wing's flying mission.
The 188th recently finished its conversion from the F-16 to the A-10C and completed its first combat tour in the Warthog. The 188th's outstanding accomplishments during that aircraft conversion and subsequent deployment earned the wing the coveted Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the period Oct. 1, 2008, to Sept. 30, 2010.
Air Force: 188th One Of Best
Posted: Friday, April 15, 2011 10:39 am | Updated: 10:39 am, Fri Apr 15, 2011
By Jeff Arnold
The Times Record
In just more than five years, the 188th Fighter Wing has gone from being on the verge of losing its flying mission to receiving an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.
It is the second-highest award a U.S. Air Force unit can receive, ranking only behind the Meritorious Unit Award.
"This is a very proud day for the 188th Fighter Wing, the men and women make this possible. We're a traditional force during the week; two-thirds of us work somewhere in the community and when it's time to go serve our country, we stop our jobs in the community and come serve our country," said Col. Tom Anderson, 188th commander.
In addition to the work of the men and women of the 188th, Anderson said the support of the community is instrumental, and without it the unit might not be celebrating this achievement.
In July 2005, the Pentagon recommended stripping the 188th of its primary mission, F-16 fighters, pilots and about 700 employees.
A local task force guided by civic leaders appealed that decision to the Base Realignment and Closure Commission, which in August 2005 voted to remove F-16s from the 188th and replace them with A-10s.
The award covers the 188th's performance between Oct. 1, 2008, to Sept. 30, 2010.
Documentation supporting the unit's nomination for the award listed a tremendous list of accomplishments during that time, which included:
• Completed conversion from the F-16 to the A-10 ahead of schedule.
• Maintained a mission capable rate for its aircraft above the Air National Guard average, including the highest mission capable rate among A-10 units between August 2009 and July 2010.
• Deployed more than 300 personnel to more than 19 countries.
• Developed a solution for an Air Force-wide avionics problems with the A-10, allowing the 188th to become the only unit authorized to do repairs outside the normal repair centers, which save taxpayers more than $1.5 million.
• The 188th recruiters were awarded the Patriot Team Award as the Air National Guard's top national recruiting office.
• Missed zero required tasks during a deployment to Afghanistan, less than a month after completing conversion from the F-16 to A-10.
On Thursday, Anderson revealed the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award emblem, which is affixed to each of the unit's aircraft, complete with an oak leaf cluster to signify the unit has received the award multiple times.
The 188th also received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award in July 1977.
Warm Welcome - Lt. Col. Ray Hunter waves to family and friends as he taxis his A-10C Thunderbolt II to a stop at Ebbing Air National Guard Base in May 2010. Hunter was one of 10 pilots with the 188th Fighter Wing of the Arkansas Air National Guard who flew their planes home from a Guard base in Baltimore after a two-month deployment in Afganistan. (Photo by Corey S. Krasko / Times Record)
Note: Pictured is A-10C 78-0659.
Top Hawgs - 188th prowess earns Air Force Outstanding Unit Award