446th Airlift Wing receives recognition from U.S. Congressman

By Master Sgt. Jake Chappelle on February 2, 2012

Military members usually don't mind receiving credit for a job well done. That recognition is even more meaningful when it's given by one of the nation's leaders.

That's why U.S. Congressman Adam Smith presented a recognition letter to the 446th Airlift Wing, Washington State's only flying Reserve unit, for earing the Meritorious Unit Award. Although the wing won the award last year, Smith took time out of his busy schedule to personally recognize the wing here, Jan. 30, 2012.

The wing flew more than 9,700 missions in more than 42,000 flying hours, averaging 2,000 missions every four months to 11 different Iraqi airfields to earn the award again.

"It's an honor to recognize the 446th for its performance and its commitment to serving the United States," Smith said in his presentation. "I ask that my colleagues in the House of Representatives, please join me in congratulating the 446th Airlift Wing for receiving the Air Force Meritorious Unit Award."

Col. Bruce Bowers, 446th AW commander accepted the letter on behalf of the wing.

"I think it was very gracious of Congressman Smith to take time out of his busy schedule to make this presentation to Congress and then to us here at the wing," Bowers said. "It shows how passionate he is about supporting the people and the mission here. I truly appreciate him recognizing our Reserve Airmen and their civilian employers."

Mission support units, such as the 446th Civil Engineer and 446th Security Forces Squadrons mobilized for deployments, in which they provided security and emergency response at strategically critical air bases in Iraq.

The Meritorious Unit Award, established in 2004, recognizes organizations for outstanding achievement and service in direct support of combat operations on or after Sept. 11, 2001. It is given to units that have displayed outstanding devotion and superior performance of exceptionally difficult tasks, setting themselves above other units.

"The 446th directly contributes to national objectives and continuously demonstrates their combat readiness as they fulfill global peacetime and wartime operations," said Smith. "For this, my constituents and I are most grateful."