6th ARW earns 16th Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

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  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The 6th Air Refueling Wing was recently awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for exceptionally meritorious service from Oct. 1, 2017 to Sep. 30, 2019.

The award is given to units distinguishing themselves by exceptionally meritorious service or outstanding achievements that set them above other Air Force units.

“The incredible and even heroic efforts of our Airmen demonstrated not only the highest level of integrity, service and excellence, but demonstrated exceptional innovation and ingenuity above and beyond the already high demands placed on them each and every day,” said Col. Stephen Snelson, 6th ARW commander. “I'm extremely honored to serve alongside the men and women of this wing.”

Colonel Snelson also thanked the local community for their support. “Team MacDill could not accomplish the mission, or even exist, without the outstanding support of the Tampa Bay area community.”

The AFOUA was last awarded to the wing for the period of Jan. 1, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2017. It’s the 16th time in its history the wing has earned the award.

During this period, the 6th ARW supported operations Inherent Resolve and Freedom’s Sentinel, executing more than 3,000 combat missions in the U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility, as well as responding to numerous contingency and humanitarian missions.

The 6th ARW also made a large humanitarian impact during the aftermath of Hurricane Michael by conducting 10 town halls assisting over 140 families and 11,000 personnel who evacuated to the Tampa region from Tyndall AFB, Florida.

In addition to its exceptional operational achievements, the 6th ARW hosted the Department of Defense’s annual Wounded Warrior Games in Tampa, showcasing over 300 athletes competing in 14 events to the local community and worldwide audience.

In addition to the AFOUA, the 6th ARW’s execution of the rapid global mobility mission has garnered many awards, to include three Department of Defense, nine Air Force and 11 major command awards, as well as the Omaha Trophy Award, presented by U.S. Strategic Command.

Members assigned to the wing during the award period are authorized to wear the AFOUA ribbon or appropriate cluster. Civilian employees are authorized to wear the AFOUA lapel pin. Eligible members should direct questions to their servicing commander support staff or military personnel flight for award update procedures.

The 6th ARW is organized into five groups: operations, maintenance, mission support, medical, and the wing staff. Team MacDill includes 28 associate units from all branches of service to include U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command and the 927th Air Refueling Wing. The presence of these two unified commands and other mission teammates creates a unique multi-service community at MacDill, with all branches of service represented. So, although MacDill is an Air Force Base, it is also home to many soldiers, sailors, Marines and coast guardsman.