ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga., June 15, 2005
Air Force reservists who supported the war in Iraq while with the 16th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force may be eligible for an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with a V device for valor.
Operating from Aviano Air Base, Italy, the 16th AETF directed a variety of aerial support across the Mediterranean and northern Iraq. Members of the task force came from active, Air Force Reserve Command and Air National Guard units from across the Total Force.
Combat operation began March 13, 2003, and ended April 16, 2003. Reservists should check with their military personnel flight to ensure they receive credit for their service. They may need a copy of their military orders to show they took part in the operation.
Among the task force’s units was the 409th Air Expeditionary Group, a KC-10 unit operating out of Bulgaria and built around operators and maintainers from AFRC’s 514th Air Mobility Wing, McGuire AFB, N.J.
KC-10 aircrews from the 514th Operations Group formed the 409th AEG’s 76th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron. They flew six KC-10 Extender tankers refueling aircraft over the Black Sea. Col. James J. Muscatell Jr., then 514th OG commander and now commander of the 934th Airlift Wing, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Air Reserve Station, Minn., commanded the 409th AEG.
The 714th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, composed of reservists from McGuire’s 714th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, maintained the planes. Both the 76th ARS and the 714th AMXS will add this AFOUA to their official unit heritage. Individual awards go to any active-duty, Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard member who actually deployed to Bulgaria on orders to the 409th AEG, 76th EARS or 714th EAMXS.
Several other 514th AMW reservists filled key support jobs in the 409th AEG. Joining them were active-duty and National Guard people, all of whom will share in this recognition. Other reservists in the 409th AEG included services people from the 442nd Services Squadron, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
Also on this AFOUA award list is the 970th Expeditionary Airborne Air Control Squadron, an airborne warning and control squadron that is part of AFRC’s 513th Air Control Group at Tinker AFB, Okla. Reservists in this squadron provided AWACS support across the eastern Mediterranean. They will add a streamer to their unit guidon for their part in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
By AFRC News Service
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