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Members of the Georgia Air National Guard’s 202nd Engineering Installation Squadron backfill a trench with concrete to prevent a duct from being crushed by traffic during their recent deployment to Afghanistan. The group was awarded the Distinguished Mission Support Plaques at the 2012 National Guard Association of the United States annual awards program. The NGAUS presents one trophy and five plaques to the top ANG non-flying units through its annual competition. (Courtesy photo)
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AFSPC ANG Units earn top honors

Posted 6/26/2012   Updated 6/26/2012 Email story   Print story


by Senior Master Sgt. Dean Miller
Air Force Space Command Public Affairs

6/26/2012 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Three Air National Guard units gained by Air Force Space Command when mobilized earned top honors in the 2012 National Guard Association of the United States annual awards program. The NGAUS presents one trophy and five plaques to the top ANG non-flying units through its annual competition.

The winning units were the Ohio Air National Guard's 251st Combat Communications Group, the Georgia ANG's 202nd Engineering Installation Squadron and the Tennessee ANG's 119th Command and Control Squadron.

"I want to add my heartiest congratulations to the 251st CCG, the 202nd EIS and the 119 CACS," said Maj. Gen. Robert Stonestreet, ANG Assistant to the AFSPC commander. "Each of these units has histories of excellence and this recognition adds to their outstanding reputations. It is significant that three of the six units winning this year are AFSPC-gained. As the best of the best, they are truly deserving of this recognition and I couldn't be more proud of each one."

The NGAUS Air National Guard Awards program began in 1960 and has evolved to adapt to changes in the ANG. The Mission Support Trophy is the top-honor for all non-flying ANG units. Competing units are judged on overall operational readiness during the reporting year as well as its performance in relation to all other ANG non-flying units. Selection is based on such criteria as operational readiness inspections, special missions, deployments, exercises, outstanding accomplishments, unit manning levels, attendance, retention and skill level qualifications.

The 251st CCG, was awarded the NGAUS Mission Support Trophy. Located at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport, Springfield, Ohio, the group is transitioning to the 251st Cyber Engineering Installation Group (Provisional), to better reflect evolving cyber responsibilities. The 251st is one of two ANG groups that each leads eight Engineering Installation Squadron's located throughout the U.S. The 251st provides project management, resources and funding, spectrum management, strategic planning, exercise planning, theater planning and execution, training, readiness, conducts staff assistance visits, and serves as the National Guard Bureau and AFSPC A4/7 liaison. The group worked 339 projects during the nomination period.

"The 251st is an amazing team with a unique mission set," said Col. Norman Poklar, 251st CEIG (P) commander. "What we did for the nation, both at home and deployed, during the nomination period truly represents the ingenuity, flexibility and dedication of Air National Guard members from the Group and our EIS Squadrons.

"Our people do this job in the guard environment and in their civilian professions; it keeps their contribution to the nation highly relevant and on the cutting edge of technology. I'm very proud of this team, and we are honored by the presentation of the NGAUS Mission Support Trophy."

The Distinguished Mission Support Plaque is awarded to outstanding Air National Guard units with a mission support role. The plaques are authorized for the five highest-rated Air National Guard non-flying units, after the Mission Support Trophy recipient.

The 202nd EIS and the 119th CCS were awarded NGAUS Distinguished Mission Support Plaques.

The 202nd EIS, at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., designs and installs communications infrastructure. Duties include building antennas, towers, fiber optics, and surveillance, access control and intrusion detection systems anywhere in the world. The unit also responds to emergencies and natural disasters overseas and throughout the United States.

The 202nd deployed 43 members to Afghanistan and other locations in the Air Forces Central Area of Operations from April to Dec 2011 to conduct cyberspace engineering and infrastructure installations. In late 2011 the 202nd relocated to Robins AFB after 59 years in Macon, Ga., while at the same time supporting a deployment alongside an Army tactical signal brigade in Afghanistan. Among its many roles, the 202nd also takes care of communications infrastructure at 27 other locations, including ANG units in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

"Mobilizing in support of AFCENT and the U.S. Army while simultaneously conducting the relocation of our unit from its 59 year home was challenging and each presented its own unique test for the unit to say the least," said Lt Col Doug Walker, 202nd EIS Commander. "Our Airmen performed magnificently and each endeavor was a tremendous success. I'm extremely proud of their professionalism and I thank NGAUS for recognizing our efforts."

The 119th Command and Control Squadron, at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tenn., provides training, standardization and evaluation for satellite communication and information system operators. They provide training in systems administration, preventative maintenance, sustainment, configuration management and user support for operation units. They serve as technical experts for the synchronization, planning, system integration and employment of satellite communications and information management systems.

The 119th CCS serves as an asset to the state of Tennessee, providing the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency as well as other Tennessee civilian emergency services with a force ready to react and assist as needed with personnel, facilities, and equipment to support military, federal and civilian agencies.

"The Volunteers of the Tennessee Air National Guard's 119th Command and Control Squadron have proudly served Air Force Space Command for the last 12 years," said Lt. Col. Vince Franklin, 119th CCS commander. "In this time, the men and women in my command have set the standard for space mission support and we are truly honored to have our efforts recognized by the NGAUS."

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