LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The 19th Airlift Wing headquartered out of Little Rock Air Force Base announced on Thursday that they are the recipient of the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.

The AFOUA is awarded by the Secretary of the Air Force to numbered units that have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service or outstanding achievement that clearly sets the unit above and apart from similar units.

“This award is a testament to our reputation that when someone calls upon the 19th Airlift Wing, we deliver – no matter the task, no matter the conditions, we figure out a way to get it done,” Col. Angela Ochoa, 19th AW commander, said. “I could not be more proud to be a Black Knight, and to be associated with the finest Airmen, both uniformed and civilian, our nation has to offer.”

The recognition comes from their outstanding performance in service to the United States in supporting combat operations from September 1, 2019, to August 31, 2021.

During that time, the 19th Air Wing flew 7,000 combat hours with 39 aircraft, while airlifting more than 7 million pounds of cargo and 2,400 personnel, which broke the U.S. Central Command’s seven-year flight record.

They also conducted 1,000 higher headquarters and training missions that totaled over 9,000 hours despite the challenges of a global pandemic and the winter storm of February 2021.

The wing also showed dedication to health and safety during the pandemic by standing up a 350-person joint medical center that delivered 50,000 vaccinations to American citizens and established the base Public Health Operations Center which brought the safe execution of 632 base events that held a less than 1% positivity rate and returned the base to 95 percent capacity within three months.