SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Iowa Air National Guard's 185th Air Refueling Wing has been awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for its efforts during 2019.
The award is earned for exceptionally meritorious service to the United States Air Force.
Col. Mark Muckey, commander of the unit, said every member of the 185th earned the honor.
"This award is a direct reflection of the professionalism of our unit membership and an affirmation of the high quality of work they do every day," Muckey said.
The citation mentions the unit's high operations tempo during 2019, which included thousands of flying hours. The award cited the unit's 100% manning that allows the organization to operate at full strength. Also mentioned was the wing's community involvement initiatives like the boss lift program that allowed hundreds of civilian employers to fly with the unit and witness an inflight refueling.
Other items of note included the 185th Medical Group's involvement in humanitarian efforts in 2019 as part of innovative readiness training in Puerto Rico. While training in the island territory for two weeks, medical personal from the wing cared for more than 9,000 patients.
Units that are part of the Sioux City, Iowa, based Air Refueling Wing support the United States Air Force's global mission regularly. That work has not let up in 2020: unit members are currently deployed to Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, providing air refueling support as part of the continuous bomber presence in the Pacific region.
The 185th also provides humanitarian support in the event of a state emergency. During 2020, members of the 185th helped clean up debris in Cedar Rapids following a derecho windstorm. Unit members also supported the TestIowa COVID-19 test initiative throughout the spring and summer.
The Air National Guard unit has over 900 full- and part-time members. Their main mission is flying and maintaining the KC-135R Sratotanker midair refueling aircraft, as well as the test and evaluation mission in Fort Dodge.
The Air Force Outstanding Unit award citation mentions subordinate units from the 185th Support Group, Medical Group, Operations and Maintenance Groups in Sioux City and the 133rd Test Squadron in Fort Dodge.