353rd Special Operations Group   Right Corner Banner
Join the Air Force

News > BATCATS earn Meritorious Unit Award
 
Photos 
Rebuilding Sendai: a photographic journey
Members of the 320th Special Tactics Squadron assess the damage at Sendai Airport March 16, 2011. The 353rd SOG's involvement in Operation Tomodachi is one of the many examples contributing to earning the Meritorious Unti Award. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse)
Download HiRes
BATCATS earn Meritorious Unit Award

Posted 12/30/2012   Updated 1/1/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Tech. Sgt. Kristine Dreyer
353rd Special Operations Group Public Affairs


12/30/2012 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan  -- The 353rd Special Operations Group was awarded the Meritorious Unit Award Dec. 16 for their exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service from Oct. 1, 2010 to Sept. 30, 2012.

Superior performance of the day-to-day mission alone does not satisfy the requirements needed to earn this award. The unit must also be able to show how their accomplishments stand out from the rest, and the diverse 353rd SOG mission reflects just that.

"Men and women of the 353rd SOG maintain a continuous combat presence in Afghanistan and the Philippines while also contributing to emergent humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations like Operation TOMADACHI, Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed exercises rehearsing contingency operations, and joint combined exercises operationalizing theater engagement strategy," said Col. Brad Sullivan, 353rd SOG commander. "Group personnel are vigilant...we rehearse and train hard year round so we can execute when we are called to do so. This award testifies to our ability to prosecute missions to the highest standards through an empowered combination of SOF-educated decision making and personal accountability."

During the two year period, the group participated in 26 Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed and joint combined exchange training exercises throughout the Pacific. These exercises are what keep the air commandos of the Pacific primed and ready for anything.

In March 2011 the group completed their Operational Readiness Inspection earning an "Outstanding" rating. Just 72 hours later, they deployed six aircraft and approximately 350 people to support exercise FOAL EAGLE in the Republic of Korea. Less than a week into the exercise, Northwestern Japan was hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and a tsunami soon followed.

From Korea, half of the deployed SOG personnel further deployed to Yokota to provide humanitarian relief. The group's special tactics personnel facilitated the first landing into the heavily damaged airport of Sendai. The opening of the airfield created the opportunity to the deliver 2.5 million pounds of aid for the disaster victims.

Airmen assigned to the 353rd Special Operations Group during the award period should see their records automatically updated in Virtual Military Personnel Flight within the next few weeks.

"This award only begins to spotlight the caliber of people we have in the 353rd SOG," said Chief Master Sgt. Gregg Jones, 353rd SOG, command chief. "Every day I am proud to be a part of this exceptional organization and our specialized mission. The award is no small feat and very well deserved."



tabComments
No comments yet.  
Add a comment

 Inside the 353rd SOG

ima cornerSearch


Site Map      Contact Us     Questions     USA.gov     Security and Privacy notice     E-publishing  
Suicide Prevention    Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention   IG   EEO   Accessibility/Section 508