By Ann Skarban
302nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd Airlift Wing has been selected as the recipient of the Airlift/Tanker Association’s 2015 Lieutenant General James E. Sherrard III award.
According to award information on the Airlift/Tanker Association web site, the Sherrard Award recognizes the Air Force Reserve Command’s outstanding wing or group contributing to the overall success of the Mobility Air Force mission and the total force. Additionally, the unit that best embodies the spirit and essence of today’s global mobility operations, maintaining a viable strategic reserve for tomorrow while embracing responsibilities to their civilian employer, community and family is recognized. The award will be presented to the leadership of the Peterson-based reserve wing at the A/TA symposium to be held in Florida in late October.
The 302nd Airlift Wing’s nomination package, which covered achievements during the award period July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015, lauded the Reserve C-130 wing’s accomplishments in the area of integration with Active Duty partners to include its Active Duty association with the 52nd Airlift Squadron, its Force Support Squadron co-located with the 21st FSS and full integration in Peterson Air Force Base’s Regional Command Post efforts.
The award also commends the efforts of the 302nd Aircraft Maintenance squadron for producing four out of the five top performing C-130s in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Colorado Springs’ Airmen were also recognized for their contributions aiding in the delivery of two C-130s to Afghanistan for the U.S. State Department and instruction to the Afghan Air Force in the area of C-130 operations.
The wing’s C-130 Modular Airborne Fire Fighting efforts, and world-wide deployments during the award period were also significant. A 302nd AW reserve C-130 pilot was among the MAFFS aircrew who received the Air Mobility Command Chief of Safety Aircrew of Distinction Award for efforts leading to the safe landing of a MAFFS-equipped C-130 following a landing gear malfunction while fighting fires in southern Utah in August, 2014. The C-130 airlift wing’s global reach included providing airlift support to NATO’s Operation Atlantic Resolve while participating in bilateral training with the Polish Air Force, receiving Air Mobility Command Tunner award recognition for performing humanitarian airlift in a South Sudan evacuation effort as well as deployments of aircraft and personnel to four different Areas of Responsibility.
The wing’s Major Command-level awards achieved by the 302nd Security Forces and Force Support Squadrons and the wing historian’s recognition as the Air Force History and Museums Program 2015 Robert F. Futrell Award for excellence in historical publications were among the unit and individual accomplishments also received during the award’s time period.
“I am extremely proud of the members of this wing who continue to take on new challenges, and through dedication, innovation and team work not only met, but exceeded in all areas of our mission,” said Col. Jay Pittman, commander of the 302nd AW.
“We’ve stepped up and teamed-up with our Active Duty partners in several areas and have certainly been a leader in Total Force partnerships,” Pittman added.
The 302nd Airlift Wing, equipped with eight, C-130 H aircraft, is one of nine Air Force Reserve C-130 wings with an airdrop and airlift mission located throughout the nation. Approximately 1,300 Reserve Airmen are assigned, of which roughly 200 are full-time, dual status federal civil service/Air Force Reserve employees as Air Reserve Technicians.
Editor’s notes: Lt. Gen. James E. Sherrard III began his career as a C-130 pilot and rose to the highest levels of Air Force Reserve leadership. General Sherrard served as commander for the Air Force Reserve from 1998-2004. Among his awards are the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with hourglass. In 1996, Sherrard was awarded the Order of the Sword award, a distinguished honor that recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the enlisted corps.
About Airlift Tanker Association: The A/TA is dedicated to ensuring that American military forces continue to have the air mobility capability required to implement U.S. national security strategy.