MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, CALIF. — The 315th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, was awarded the 2016 Raincross Trophy at a dinner Thursday, Oct. 20, naming them best wing in Fourth Air Force, a title they will carry for the next year.
“We are proud to receive this prestigious award of excellence,” said Col. Gregory Gilmour, 315th AW commander. “It represents the hard work and professionalism that the members of our wing demonstrate on a daily basis. I thank everyone at the 315th, and their families that support them, for all the hard work you do every day.”
The level of competition in today’s environment is pretty unbelievable, according to Maj. Gen. John C. Flournoy, Jr., commander, 4th Air Force. The selection process took his leadership into the internal controls of each entry to help determine the winners, he said.
“This is an extremely difficult award to win,” Flournoy said. “All 16 wings and one regional support group are accomplishing the mission every day in an excellent manner.”
The Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce Military Affairs Committee hosted the 17th Annual Raincross Trophy Dinner at the Riverside Convention Center, which was attended by commanders and command chiefs representing each wing in the numbered Air Force (NAF), as well as local community leaders and elected officials.
“Our entire Fourth Air Force team owes a huge debt of gratitude to the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, the phenomenal business leaders, and supportive citizens of Riverside County for their unwavering support,” said Flournoy.
Four other awards were announced at the ceremony
The Aircrew Excellence Award went to the 732nd Airlift Squadron, 514th Air Mobility Wing, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.
The award citation reads “The 732d Airlift Squadron, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey distinguished itself by outstanding achievement from 28 April 2016 to 3 June 2016. During this time, a squadron crew deployed to the United States Central Command area of responsibility, flying 62 hours, transporting 556 passengers and delivering one million pounds of cargo in support of Operations INHERENT RESOLVE, FREEDOM’S SENTINEL and RESOLUTE SUPPORT. The crew completed numerous no-fail missions despite significant obstacles. They overcame an in-flight emergency, divert and maximum-duty limit to insert special operations forces into the Sinai Peninsula and target the Islamic State. They also airlifted Senator Marco Rubio into Iraq for critical meetings with the US Ambassador and Iraqi officials. Finally, they moved a Navy SEAL team to Africa and provided dignified transport of fallen soldiers in preparation for their return home.”
The Chief Master Sgt. James K. Clouse Trophy, for maintenance excellence, was presented to the 514th Maintenance Group, 514th Air Mobility Wing, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.
"The Clouse Award panel reviewed awards from pretty much all eligible groups in 4 AF,” wrote Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Archuleta, Aircraft Maintenance and Equipment Specialist, Headquarters Fourth Air Force in an email. “We represent over 30,000 of the Airman in Air Force Reserve Command and we provide a lot of mission capability to the Air Force. We were impressed by the great work and incredible mission impact that the 514 MXG provided this last year,” he continued.
The Tech. Sgt. Anthony C. Campbell, Jr. Trophy, in recognition of being the best Mission Support Group in 4 AF was awarded to the 434th Mission Support Group, 434th Air Refueling Wing, Grissom Air Reserve Base, Indiana.
"There were several extremely competitive groups this year,” said Lt. Col. Eddy Palacios, Headquarters 4th Air Force Campbell Award Board chair, in an email. “The 434 MSG out of Grissom ARB, IN, however was the standout in the group. We are continually astounded by the great capabilities, and equally great spirit and 'can do' attitude that the 434 MSG demonstrated to earn this recognition,” he added.
The Medical Excellence Award was earned by the 624th Regional Support Group, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
“It’s a big feather in the cap of the 624th that they competed and won,” Flournoy said. “They have an Aeromedical Staging Squadron with a dual role in that they are also responsible for the medical readiness of their group and the 624th Aerospace Medicine Squadron in Guam.”