Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe recently earned the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award for exceptionally meritorious service from July 1, 2002, to June 30, 2004.
The award, presented on behalf of Secretary of the Air Force, recognizes units that have performed exceptional meritorious service and outstanding achievement clearly setting the unit apart from similar units.
“We can directly attribute this award to the intense mission focus and courage of our Airmen – I blame each one of them for this honor,” said Gen. Robert H. “Doc” Foglesong, USAFE commander.
“This award is well earned,” continued the general. “Whether we’re talking about the outstanding effort put forth in the facilitation of operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, or the establishment of USAFE’s 15 Combat and Special Interest programs, USAFE has led the way in the most respected, all-purpose expeditionary air and space force in the world.”
As a major player in the fight against terrorism, USAFE members have left a large footprint, facilitating OEF and OIF from various locations throughout Europe and Africa. USAFE civil engineers led a massive beddown plan for OIF – providing infrastructure for joint and coalition forces consisting of more than 32,000 people and 200 aircraft coming from 18 different bases.
In addition, USAFE was successful in organizing the delivery of more than 142 million gallons of jet fuel and refueling more than 18,000 aircraft throughout the command during the initial stages of the war. The fuel allowed more than 9.6 million pounds of critical cargo and 23,000 munitions to be moved throughout the area of operation.
While USAFE members have proven they are ready to fight and postured to respond anywhere in the world, with the command’s 15 Combat and Special Interest programs, the Air Force’s No. 1 asset – its people – are also kept at the forefront, said Chief Master Sgt. Gary Coleman, USAFE command chief master sergeant.
The programs, from Combat Intro/Exit’s streamlining of PCS processes to Combat Touch nurturing the spiritual well-being of USAFE’s Airmen and families, to Project SMART ensuring safety is given the highest priority on and off duty, share common threads – increasing readiness, improving mission effectiveness and serving the command’s people.
“Teamwork and the basic impulse to care for one another fuel USAFE’s 15 CSIPs, enabling them to spur mental, physical and spiritual growth, ultimately touching virtually every facet of the team and mission,” said Chief Coleman.
And it’s because of this all encompassing focus that USAFE and its members are being recognized, said General Foglesong.
“Taking care of our people, providing superior services and being ready and postured to respond at a moment’s notice – that’s what it’s all about,” he said. “This award is proof positive – USAFE members are doing extraordinary work in this great all-purpose expeditionary Air Force of ours.”
People assigned to subordinate units within USAFE Headquarters during this time are eligible to wear the award.
Headquarters USAFE members should have their personnel records automatically updated. People previously assigned to the headquarters during this period should contact their local personnel office to make sure their records are updated. Wear of the ribbon is authorized immediately.