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By 1st Lt. Phil Fountain
By 1st Lt. Phil Fountain, Missouri National Guard Public Affairs
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Army National Guard’s Detachment 2, Company C of the 2-245th Aviation Regiment, based in Jefferson City, has been named the 2017 Joint Operational Support Airlift Center Unit of the Year in the Army National Guard – West category.
“This award is a competition among peer units from across the entire western portion of the United States and signifies the unit’s ability to be selected as the top performer among all 21 units in the category,” said Capt. Jason D. Key, the detachment’s commander.
Detachment 2 is responsible for operating and maintaining the state’s C-12 Huron, a military passenger and transport aircraft, and provides direct support for the U.S. Transportation Command, one of nine unified Department of Defense commands, based at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
The flight detachment provides command, control and communications, staff transport and liaison, casualty transport and air movement of critical equipment, supplies, parts and personnel.
Col. Charles Hausman, the Missouri Army National Guard’s state aviation officer, congratulated the unit during the quarterly meeting of the state’s aviation standardization and safety board meeting, in Jefferson City.
He read the announcement letter when the unit was presented with a trophy recognizing the achievement.
“Detachment 2’s dedication and professionalism set the mark for all other Army National Guard flying units in the Department of Defense,” wrote Maj. Gen. Ricky N. Rupp, U.S. Transportation Command’s director of operations, in a letter to Col. Charles Hausman, the Missouri Army National Guard’s state aviation officer.
“Detachment 2 has demonstrated consistently outstanding [Operational Support Airlift] support through enthusiasm, cooperation, and flexibility,” Rupp wrote.
Nine categories were used to determine the winner. The five objective categories include: missions per aircraft; flight hours per aircraft; logistical flight report completion rate; joint service support; and cancellation mission rate. The four subjective categories include: aircraft status accuracy; cooperative spirit and flexibility; professional courteous attitude; and OSA enterprise big picture focus.
This award is particularly special to Key, who said his unit consistently finishes near the top of the competition and has won six times in the past 11 years.
“The award is truly a unit award,” Key said. “One or two Soldiers in the detachment cannot earn this. It takes each and every member of the unit, working as a team, to support such an aggressive flight schedule. It also requires the professionalism of the civilian contract maintenance, working as a member of the team, to enable the kind of flight hours we execute.”
Hausman said the state’s aviators are working hard each day training and achieving their objectives. In addition to the fixed-wing C-12, the state’s Army aviation assets include a fleet of medium-lift and light utility helicopters, the UH-60 Black Hawk and UH-72 Lakota, respectively.
“We are out there, every day doing dangerous missions, and you’re doing it safely,” Hausman said of the state’s aviators. “This award represents a lot of great work done by a small unit (Detachment 2). It’s being done safely and it’s being done well.”
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