131st Bomb Wing receives prestigious Air Force awards

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Phoenix Lietch

The Missouri Air National Guard’s 131st Bomb Wing has recently been awarded the Meritorious Unit Award and the Air and Space Outstanding Unit Award.

Guardsmen with the 131st distinguished themselves by their meritorious service providing COVID-19 relief, participating in four Bomber Task Force missions and engaging in operations Allies Welcome and Allies Refuge.

“These honors recognize how the 131st Bomb Wing expertly covered the full spectrum of air power and agile combat support, as well as homeland and state emergency response,” said Col. Jared Kennish, 131st Bomb Wing commander. “I’m very proud of our Missouri Guardsmen who answered the call when their state and nation needed them.”

In their state role, the wing responded to relief efforts for the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 450 wing personnel mobilized and deployed across Missouri to assist 605,000 fellow Missourians supporting food pantries and call centers. 131st Airmen also helped facilitate the vaccinations of more than 465,000 people.

Separate from the unit’s state mission, the wing’s Airmen deployed across the globe as part of four Bomber Task Force missions, supporting NATO and allied partners. Additionally, more than 100 Airmen deployed during this period to support United States Southern Command and Central Command. Finally, within the continental United States, approximately 30 Airmen safely helped to relocate more than 79,000 Afghan refugees as part of operations Allies Welcome and Allies Refuge.

The 131st received the Meritorious Unit Award for their outstanding service through the dates of April 1 to December 31, 2021 and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award through January 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.

Military and civilian personnel permanently assigned or attached to the 131st Bomb Wing who served for at least one day during the award period are authorized the appropriate ribbon.