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Air Force recognizes High Rollers with Outstanding Unit Award

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Emerson Marcus
  • 152nd Airlift Wing

The 152nd Airlift Wing, also known as the High Rollers, received the Outstanding Unit Award for its historic deployment cycle overseas and assistance to federal firefighters in the western U.S. during 2018 and 2019, the U.S. Air Force announced Friday.

“This recognition highlights the great work High Rollers accomplish on a daily basis here at the Reno Air National Guard Base,” Col. Jacob Hammons, 152nd Airlift Wing commander, said. “I’m extremely proud of the airmen that make up our premier tactical airlift wing. I want to thank the Air Force for recognizing them with this prestigious award.” 

The Outstanding Unit Award is presented by the Secretary of the Air Force to units that “distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service or outstanding achievement that clearly sets the unit above and apart from similar units,” according to the Air Force’s website. 

The 152nd Airlift Wing, Nevada Air National Guard, deployed about 300 airmen to multiple countries in support of military operations in Southwest Asia and around the world during 2018 and 2019. It was the largest overseas deployment cycle since the unit, then called the 152nd Reconnaissance Group, deployed in support of the federal government during the Pueblo Crisis in 1968. 

Additionally, the unit continued to assist the U.S. Forest Service, operating the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System, also known as MAFFS, for largescale, wildland firefighting. 

The 152nd Airlift Wing — created in Reno in 1948 as the 192nd Fighter Squadron — has received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award nine times. 

• April 1, 1961 – March 31, 1964 
• Jan. 26, 1968 – July 18, 1968 
• July 1, 1985 – June 30, 1987 
• July 1, 1988 – June 30, 1990 
• July 1, 1990 – June 30, 1991 
• Aug. 15, 1992 – Aug. 14, 1994 
• Sept. 15, 2009 – Sept. 14, 2011
• Oct. 1, 2012 – Oct. 31, 2014
• Jan. 1, 2018 – Dec. 31, 2019

The Outstanding Unit Award was authorized by Department of the Air Force General Order 1, Jan. 6, 1954.

The 152nd is composed of about 1,100 Airmen serving at the Reno Air National Guard Base on the south runway of the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. The majority report for duty as traditional Guardsmen one weekend each month and two weeks for training during the year. About 300 airmen serve full-time at the base, operating the unit’s eight, C-130 H3 aircraft for worldwide personnel and cargo transportation and wildland firefighting.