Global Strike Command earns 2011 maintenance excellence award Published April 17, 2012 By Tech. Sgt. Jess D. Harvey Air Force Public Affairs Agency WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force Chief of Staff presented the Gen. Wilbur L. Creech Maintenance Excellence Award for 2011 to Air Force Global Strike Command commander Lt. Gen. James Kowalski in a ceremony at the Pentagon April 16. The award is presented to the major command that demonstrates the most improved performance in aircraft maintenance and logistics readiness in a given fiscal year. Speaking about the award, Gen. Norton Schwartz noted that units don't nominate themselves for this award, nor do units submit packages for consideration. "It is truly a performance-based award," Schwartz said. "It's very clear that Global Strike Command, under Lt. Gen. Kowalski's leadership, have proven to be great stewards of the taxpayers' treasure." Global Strike Command earned this award with their improved aircraft metrics and performance across the board, Schwartz said. They brought the non-mission capable supply rate to a little more than 15 percent, which is much lower than previous levels and cannibalization rates improved by 70 percent from the former baseline. "Maintenance of aircraft and machines is a human business," Schwartz said. "It requires great supervision, it requires focused management and it requires great leadership at street level to motivate and encourage our maintainers to perform at their best every day." Kowalski pointed out how inspiring it was to receive any award that has the name of an Air Force legend such as General Creech on it. He said the success that Global Strike Command has achieved is due largely to the leadership and empowerment of Airmen in the command. "It's an incredible honor to be the one up here ... to be the one to accept the award, but the recognition belongs to the Airmen out there, and all the folks who enabled them," Kowalski said.