10/25/12 — 4th is among best, again

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4th is among best, again

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on October 25, 2012 1:46 PM

When a hurricane was approaching Wayne County, they "masterfully" executed the evacuation of 72 F-15E Strike Eagles in less than 24 hours.

When combatant commanders in war theaters across the world called for their precision, they provided a blanket of air power for thousands of hours -- responding to troops-in-contact calls, escorting convoys and executing shows of force.

And when they went outside the wire while deployed to Afghanistan, they completed more than 150 missions that required members of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight to clear improvised explosive devices and weapons caches.

To put it simply, they answered the call, both at home and abroad, time and time again as Air Combat Command's "most tasked fighter wing."

So when a Wednesday morning announcement affirmed that active duty airmen stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base are living up to their unit's motto -- that the 4th Fighter Wing is, indeed, among the very best in the Air Force -- the news was welcomed by base officials more as another honor than a surprise.

ACC Commander Gen. Gilmary M. Hostage III confirmed yesterday that the Seymour Johnson wing was among a handful of units that have earned the 2012 Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for its airmen's efforts at home and abroad.

4th Commander Col. Jeannie Leavitt celebrated the news -- and her airmen.

"Over the past year, the men and women of the 4th Fighter Wing have ensured dominant Strike Eagle airpower across the globe through an unrelenting commitment to integrity, service and excellence. This recognition is a testament to the character of every airman and civilian of this wing," she said. "Their tireless efforts have evolved operational effectiveness, optimized resources, improved infrastructure and ensured we remain "Fourth, but First."

Other winners include:

* 12th Air Force, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

* 9th Air Force, Shaw Air Force Base

* 366th Fighter Wing, Mountain Home Air Force Base

* 57th Wing, Nellis Air Force Base

* 55th Wing, Offutt Air Force Base

* 505th Command and Control Wing, Hurlburt Field

* 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base

* 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing, Moody Air Force Base

* 552nd Air Control Wing, Tinker Air Force Base

* 633rd Air Base Wing, Joint Base Langley-Eustis

* 823rd RED HORSE Squadron, Hurlburt Field