190th Maintenance Group earns national award

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Angela Brees
  • 190th ARW Public Affairs
We've always known our 190th Maintenance Group was the best in the Air National Guard ... and now everyone else knows that, too.

The National Guard Bureau (NGB) recently honored the MXG with the 2009 Maintenance Effectiveness Award for their tremendous service last year.

"Receiving the ANG Maintenance Effectiveness Award is a testament to the hard work and dedication each of you provide for our mission," said MXG Deputy Commander Lt. Col Tony DeJesus.

The NGB evaluates award submissions on four factors: mission accomplishments, effective use of maintenance resources, innovative management accomplishments and personnel quality of life programs.

For the 190th MXG, the list of mission accomplishments is long. The wing flew a total of 1,119 sorties for 4,005.2 flying hours, transported more than 2,500 passengers and transferred more than 14 million pounds of fuel for 2009. MXG personnel helped the wing achieve a mission-capable rate of 75.6 percent, exceeding the ANG standard of 71 percent.

Additionally, the maintenance group was the lead tanker unit during their 2009 deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, achieving 100 percent mission accomplishment with no canceled flights due to maintenance. And still more, the team underwent an Operational Readiness Inspection and a Nuclear Operational Readiness Inspection in 2009.

"They've been tremendously busy this past year," said 1st Lt. Marci Solander, maintenance officer. "But, I have never witnessed a group of people that is more talented, more dedicated or more focused on the mission at hand."

The MXG easily demonstrated its effective use of maintenance resources as well. During a nine-month period, maintainers inspected and repaired the final six of 18 KC-135E
aircraft, which had been in storage for more than two years here. Their efforts saved the Air Force $1.1 million in annual costs to store and maintain these retirement-bound aircraft at Forbes Field. In addition to this cost-savings, the Quality Assurance team validated 70 deficiency reports, which equates to a cost avoidance savings of more than $675,000 toward operating funds.

As for the final two categories, innovative management accomplishments and quality of life programs, the 190th MXG excels there, too. The 190th Air Refueling Wing took the lead on the aeromedical evacuation program, and the MXG recently completed an airframe modification to six aircraft to enable even more critical care patients to be transported out of the Central Command theater. And, the MXG training section was among the first in the ANG to fully institute the Training Business Area program, an automated training records and management program, and even provided training to eight other units on the program.

And on the quality of life front, MXG manages a robust career motivational program to help Airmen make informed career decisions, which helped ensure a 98.7 percent retention rate in 2009. The group also manages the largest STARBASE academy in the nation, providing hands-on education to fourth, fifth and sixth grade students in math and science. More than 11,456 students have completed the program here.

"Our maintainers do a lot of great things," said Lt. Col. Ronald Krueger, commander-190th Maintenance Squadron. "And this award is a great recognition of the quality of work
they do."

Once the announcement of the 190th MXG receiving this award made it through the grapevine, there was no shortage of praise for the team.

"Your hard work and skill are well known to me, and now have clearly been recognized at the national level," said Kansas Adjutant General Tod Bunting. "Kansas is indeed fortunate to have great Airmen like you in service to our state and nation. I am proud to serve with each of you."

"Congratulations to the 190th M a i n t e n a n c e Group and all members of the 190th ARW for this outstanding honor. Each and every one of you deserves the credit for this award," said Wing Commander Col. Keith Lang.

Nevertheless, the award did not come as a surprise to many, including Solander.

"Excited, yes. Surprised, no," she said. "The quality of work performed by our maintainers is second to none, and the sheer amount of taskings they were able to successfully accomplish over the past year is simply awe inspiring."