BASE ANDREWS, Md. (3/23/11) - The District of Columbia National Guard's 113th
Wing was recently awarded the First Air Force/Continental U.S. NORAD Region
Meritorious Service Award for outstanding mission accomplishment.
of its major achievements this year was surpassing 3,000 alert responses, the
highest of any air sovereignty alert unit in the nation, according to Air Force
Lt. Col. Susan Romano of First Air Force.
am very proud of the team effort that this entire wing puts into defending the
skies of our nation’s capital," said Air Force Brig. Gen. Jeffrey R.
Johnson, 113th Wing commander.
would like to further recognize the entire Air Sovereignty Alert Detachment,
commanded by [Air Force] Lt. Col. Scott Arbogast, for their never-ending
commitment to excellence and air sovereignty alert readiness."
ASA mission began on 9/11 minutes after an airliner piloted by terrorists
crashed into the Pentagon. Smoke from the attack could be seen by an incoming
F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter pilot, who was ordered to stay airborne by the
White House to protect Washington, D.C., from other potential attacks that day.
that time, the unit has become the busiest among the 18 ASA sites in the nation
because of its proximity to Washington.
National Guard operates 16 of 18 sites. ASD units nationwide have responded to
about 59,000 alert missions, according to Romano.
stand vigilant and ready to continue this mission for as long as it
takes," Johnson said. He added that the detachment has not failed to
respond to a single alert mission.
3,000 alert responses is a credit not only to our pilots and controllers, but
also to airmen who maintain and crew our aircraft," said Air Force Lt Col.
Jeffrey Bozard, 113th Maintenance Group Commander. "They keep the ASA jets
ready for daily sorties 24/7."
wing's mission is particularly important because Washington is considered to be
the most powerful city in the world. Unfortunately it makes the city a target
for terrorists. Having a significant role in protecting the city adds urgency
to the unit's performance.
"Just as important," Johnson said, "is that we
are defending our families, friends and fellow Guardmembers. We take this