Lincoln-based 155th Air Refueling Wing honored with Prestigious Air Force Award

Posted By: Alden German
agerman@klkntv.com

A very special award was given to the hard working men and women of the Nebraska Air National Guard.

The Nebraska Air National Guard’s 155th Air Refueling Wing, also known as the "Hustlin’ Huskers", based in Lincoln, was honored with the Outstanding Unit Award Friday.

The award goes to units who have distinguished themselves through various services.

The 155th has done a lot. Between September 2014 and August 2016, they had 10 deployments, rotating over 500 airmen.

They also set a couple records with nearly 2,300 missions for 11,000 hours. During this time, they delivered almost three million gallons of fuel.

It’s an award leaders of the Nebraska Air National Guard believe is important for the troops.

"I think that it gives them a little bit more pride and a little bit more confidence that they’re doing the right things and they’re doing them well," says Brigadier General Bob Stevenson of the Air National Guard.

This is the 155th’s 13th time winning this award. The first was in 1980. In total, there are nearly 900 airmen in the wing.

What makes this year so special, however, is that every one of them will be home for the holidays – something that’s happened only twice since 2010, and only about three times since September 11, 2001.

Governor Ricketts was at the event to congratulate the unit.

"70 odd percent of the folks in this wing joined after 9/11. And they joined knowing they’d be deployed, and that’s one of the things that just makes us so proud,” says Ricketts. “They know that they’re going to be spending time away from their families, especially the holidays, and they joined anyway because they want to defend our freedoms.”

The troops are especially grateful to be home now since many of them will be deployed this time next year.