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NEWS | Dec. 20, 2021

Colorado National Guard’s 140th Wing receives Outstanding Unit Award

By 140th Wing Public Affairs

FOR RELEASE: Monday, Dec. 20, 2021

CONTACT: 140th Wing Public Affairs, 720-847-9435,

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard, based at Buckley Space Force Base, Aurora, earned the U.S. Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the period Jan. 1, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2020. 

During that 2-year period, the Wing passed a 4-year inspection, deployed to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, pioneered Agile Combat Employment, and supported the war against COVID-19 during the longest and largest state response in Colorado history. 

“I am particularly proud that we were able to follow a highly successful combat deployment with an unprecedented Domestic Operations campaign,” U.S. Air Force Col. Chris Southard, 140th Wing commander, said.  “We truly showed that we stand ready to support our community, state and nation.”

“Thank you to our Airmen for their service and dedication to the mission,” Southard said. “We couldn’t have received this award without the finest Airmen in the United States.”

During this time period, members of the 140th executed COVID-19 operations to help save lives while developing procedures now used by U.S. Northern Command as a template for other units, stood up the 138th Space Control Squadron at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and implemented Task Force Fire Watch/FireGuard at Buckley Space Force Base, Aurora, Colorado, utilizing space-based assets to provide early wildfire detection to communities across America.

Members of the 140th also fixed an F-16 “446 bulkhead” cracking issue, which preserved USAF fighter readiness.  The Airmen led the implementation of the ACE concept for the Air National Guard by performing training missions locally and globally and setting the standard for future exercises.

The wing deployed to Bagram Air Base to deter global terrorism, led an Adriatic Strike Exercise, which integrated NATO and 26 partner countries to build strong allies in the U.S. European Command area of operations, and helped streamline Enterprise Information Technology through the creation of a Service-level communications support team.

Any unit of the U.S. Air Force, to include the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard, can earn the award, through exceptionally meritorious service, by accomplishing specific acts of outstanding achievement, by excelling in combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States, or by conducting with distinction military operations involving conflict with, or exposure to, a hostile action by any opposing foreign force.