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117th ARW receives Omaha Trophy

The Omaha Trophy was awarded to the 117 Air Refueling Wing at Sumpter Smith Air National Guard Base, AL., Oct. 19, 2019.  The unit won the award in the strategic aircraft category and was the first Air National Guard tanker unit to win the award.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jeremy Farson)

The Omaha Trophy was awarded to the 117th Air Refueling Wing at Sumpter Smith Air National Guard Base, Ala., Oct. 19, 2019. The 117th ARW was the first Air National Guard tanker unit to receive the award after winning in the strategic aircraft category. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jeremy Farson)

Col. Robert "Scott" Grant, commander, 117 Air Refueling Wing, hoists the Omaha Trophy in front of the 117 ARW at Sumpter Smith Air National Guard Base, AL., Oct. 19, 2019.  The 117 ARW was the first Air National Guard tanker unit to receive the award having won it in the startegic aircraft category.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jeremy Farson)

Col. Robert Grant, 117th Air Refueling Wing commander, raises the Omaha Trophy at Sumpter Smith Air National Guard Base, Ala., Oct. 19, 2019. The 117th ARW was the first Air National Guard tanker unit to receive the award after winning in the strategic aircraft category. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jeremy Farson)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AFNS) --

The 117th Air Refueling Wing was the first Air National Guard unit to receive the Omaha Trophy Oct. 19.

The 117th ARW won the award in the strategic aircraft category in recognition of its outstanding mission performance with the U.S. Strategic Command.

The ceremony was conducted in the maintenance hangar with about 700 people in attendance, including distinguished visitors, retirees and families. The award was presented to the unit by Brig. Gen. James R. Stevenson Jr., STRATCOM mobilization assistant to the director of operations.

“To put it simply, the 117th Air Refueling Wing was the most outstanding in their Nuclear Operational Readiness Inspection and their dedication to the mission itself,” Stevenson said. “As a traditional guard unit, but with a total force, they have accomplished unique tasks and in an innovative way that we absolutely need to meet future challenges that STRATCOM faces, and we want to recognize Col. Scott Grant (117th ARW commander) and the wing members for that amazing dedication to the STRATCOM strategic deterrent mission.”

Sen. Doug Jones, who has been an advocate for the 117th ARW, was in attendance.

“I’m just so proud of these men and women, and I’m just so proud of the state of Alabama for having that mission out there, for having those opportunities to show who we are and what we can do and to show how Alabama, and in particular, this unit is to the security of the United States of America,” Jones said. “We pride ourselves in being the national champions, and that’s what this is. This is a national championship, and I’m just so proud of (Grant) and the rest of this team.”

The citizens of Omaha presented the first Omaha Trophy to the Strategic Air Command commander on the 25th anniversary of SAC in 1971. The citizens requested that it be awarded every year to the outstanding wing in SAC. After STRATCOM stood up in place of SAC in 1992, the Omaha Trophy continued to be awarded each year to an outstanding STRATCOM unit. It was expanded to five units within the following categories: strategic aircraft, intercontinental ballistic missile, submarine ballistic missile, strategic bomber and global operations.

“This is a culmination of a lot of hard work on the part of the Airmen and families of the 117th Air Refueling Wing,” Grant said. “Our Airmen have absolutely performed beautifully, and we are committed to doing exactly what America needs to defend the American way of life.”

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