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Personnel flight wins award

Members of the 123rd Mission Support Flight pose with their award from the NGB.
(Tech. Sgt. Dennis Flora/KyANG)

Members of the 123rd Mission Support Flight pose with their award from the NGB. (Tech. Sgt. Dennis Flora/KyANG)

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Louisville, Ky. -- The National Guard Bureau has selected the Kentucky Air Guard's 123rd Mission Support Flight as the top personnel unit in the nation, honoring it with the 2006 Gerrit D. Foster Jr. Outstanding MPF Achievement Award. 

The award is a reflection of extraordinary unit accomplishments at a time when the personnel career field is undergoing drastic drawdowns and reconfigurations, said Capt. Shawn Keller, commander of the 123rd Mission Support Flight. 

"The way we deliver personnel services to our Airmen is changing at a faster pace than ever before," Captain Keller said. "Our military personnel flights are constantly being tasked to do more with less, and the transformation to customer selfservice means we will continue to become a smaller career field. 

"To be named one of the best personnel flights in the entire Air National Guard -- especially during this time of unprecedented change -- is just a phenomenal achievement. 

"I couldn't be more proud of this team and the sacrifices they have made to accomplish the mission." 

That mission was especially challenging during fiscal year 2006 -- the period for which the award was given -- because of the Kentucky Air Guard's sustained high operation tempo. 

During this time, the mission support flight expertly juggled a busy deployment schedule that saw more than 550 personnel deployed worldwide in the Global War on Terror and other active-duty missions. 

The flight also continued to deploy support teams for hurricanes Katrina and Rita, sending 263 Kentucky Airmen to the Gulf Coast for emergency response operations. Meanwhile, the mission support flight continued its preparations for the 2006 Air Mobility Command Operational Readiness Inspection, which tested the wing's ability to pack up the base, deploy to a remote location, fight a simulated war and return home safely. 

The flight's personnel deployment function -- a team that processes Airmen for departure -- was praised by the Inspector General for successfully deploying 391 personnel during the ORI, despite a realworld tornado warning, power failures and system crashes. 

The flight's Deployment Control Center representatives were further identified by the IG as superior performers, and its forwardlocated in-processing center garnered an "excellent" rating. 

Back home, the Kentucky Air Guard exceeded all Air National Guard recruiting goals for fiscal year 2006.