Wing defenders accept ANG Squadron of the Year award

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Courtney Enos
  • 161st Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Chosen among all Air National Guard security units across the country, the 161st Security Forces Squadron  received the Air National Guard Security Forces Squadron of the Year award during a ceremony here Aug. 1.

The Air National Guard Security Forces director, Col. Ed Kingdon, and the career field manager, Chief Master Sgt. Todd Miskelly, hand delivered the trophy to the squadron and presented it in front of the entire 161st Air Refueling Wing at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

"I was just in DC and the Colonel [Kingdon] could have just handed the plaque to me then, but he knew the importance of addressing our team in person," said Lt. Col.  Denise Sweeney, 161st Security Forces Squadron commander.

This award encompassed three main components: the deployed mission, the in-garrison mission, and community involvement.

"Your nomination package showed us you are a well-rounded unit. You are very active in your federal mission, fully engaged in your state, and committed to your community. In other words, you're an outstanding example of what the Air National Guard is all about and we are very proud of you," said Miskelly.

Specifically, Kingdon praised the squadron for being one of the first units in the ANG to receive the new resiliency training.

"I look throughout the wing and I couldn't be more proud of each and every one of you than I am right now," said Col.  Gary Brewer, Jr., 161st Air Refueling Wing commander. "We keep raising our hands for every mission. We're saying 'yes,' we're stepping forward, and we're trying to be the best contributors [to the war fight], not just to the state, but to the Guard and to our nation."

The squadron has deployed more than 50 members within the last two years, a feat their commander  was proud to highlight. " are phenomenal. You are outstanding," said Sweeney. "We have had back-to-back deployments, and that is all while balancing that in-garrison mission. And it doesn't come easy. If we didn't have this solid foundation, esprit de corps, and what you do on a day-to-day basis, this award wouldn't have been possible. You sacrifice every day and you don't complain. You are inspiring."