133rd Airlift Wing celebrates 2010 accomplishments

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Amber Monio
  • 133rd AW Public Affairs
With accomplishments like hundreds of successful combat tours, several humanitarian operations and an excellent inspection earlier this year, the 133rd Airlift Wing took a day to recognize awards winners and hear encouraging words from their Commander in Chief and Commanding General. Members of the Minnesota National Guard's 133rd Airlift Wing braved blizzard conditions Dec. 11, 2010 to attend the annual recognition ceremony held at the Boy Scout Base Camp in St. Paul.

Maj. Gen. Rick Nash, the Adjutant General of Minnesota, was one of several distinguished visitors to attend the event. Since assuming the role of Adjutant General in November, the 133rd AW was his first stop along a tour around the state to meet the major organizations responsible to the Joint Force Headquarters, he said.

"As 2010 draws to a close, I want to thank all of you for what hard work you've given this organization," said Maj. Gen. Nash. "The 133rd Airlift Wing experienced many accomplishments and you continue to raise the bar every year."

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was also among the official party at the Wing's ceremony. During his address, Mr. Pawlenty reflected on the importance of pausing to celebrate the efforts of our Airmen to meet and exceed standards.

"We have the best National Guard in the United States of America," said Governor Pawlenty. "That's not just a proud governor bragging about it. We've now got the measurements and today is another example of the standards being measured, put up on the big screen who did what, and you've got amongst this group national leaders, state leaders, local leaders who have gone way beyond just the standard; they have performed to an extraordinary measure and so we want to recognize and thank them and recognize and thank each and every one of you."

Col. Greg Haase, 133rd Airlift Wing commander, presented Governor Pawlenty with a gift from the Airmen, fabricated by the maintenance group to resemble a window of a C-130. The plaque contained a photograph taken during a departure ceremony in 2003 which the governor attended.

"We hope it provides a little 'porthole' into your past and the time you spent with us," said Col. Haase.

During Col. Haase's remarks to the 133rd Airlift Wing, he said the success of the organization is centered on the core of men and women who lead at all levels. "Thank you to all you leaders," he said, "who keep us going in the right direction, for your legacy will be left as well and it will be a strong one."

Col. Haase highlighted the contributions of many in the community, including employers, family members and others who support the Minnesota Air National Guard members who serve at home and overseas. He specifically pointed to the 473 Airmen who deployed in 2010, including at least 60 who are still deployed thought the holiday period. He said they all exemplify the Wing's motto of "Citizens serving America, Airmen defending freedom."

Award winners included five who were selected as the Outstanding Airmen of the Year, six Wing members who received national-level awards, and many others who were given local awards. The 133rd Airlift Wing is comprised of about 1200 Airmen who fly and support eight C-130 H3 "Hercules" military cargo aircraft, stationed at the Minneapolis, St. Paul international airport.