172nd Airlift Wing receives AFOUA Published July 11, 2008 By 1st Lt. Andy Thaggard Joint Force Headquarters Public Affairs JACKSON, Mississippi -- Major General Harold A. Cross, the adjutant general of Mississippi, attached the twelfth Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (AFOUA) streamer to the 172nd Airlift Wing unit flag on June 2, during a special ceremony at the base. Special Order G-0603, signed by Michael W. Wynne, Secretary of the Air Force, was awarded to the 172nd AW for "...exceptionally meritorious service, of national and international significance, that clearly sets this unit above and apart from other units." The period covered for this award, 1 July, 2004, to 30 June, 2006, was a particularly busy time frame for the unit who had just converted to the C-17 Globemaster in 2003. Still, the unit demonstrated extraordinary capability by providing superior airlift support to the Air National Guard, United States Air Force and Department of Defense. The 172nd AW supported the Intercontinental Medical Operation plan that returned injured personnel to their home base, the Operations and Maintenance Group deployed to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey and led the air Mobility Command Fleet in both mission-capable rate and cargo delivery in theater. The unit re-deployed to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, to assume the Operation Iraqi Freedom Aeromedical Evacuation mission, where the wing delivered critical war-fighting supplies to locations within Iraq, then repositioned in-theater to provide airlift for wounded troops to Germany. While continuing to support these missions, the unit flew multiple missions supporting operations for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. The Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron deployed and provided direct medical support for the devastated Gulf Coast region. They evacuated over 1,400 patients from the Texas and Louisiana areas before the landfall of Hurricane Rita. The Medical Group operated the first Expeditionary Medical Support Hospital, providing medical support and treatment for over 2,300 military and civilian personnel.