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Story and photo by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen 177th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 177th Fighter Wing Medical Group was presented the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award on Dec. 12, 2009.

This is the second time the Medical Group has received the award. The first was in 2003 as a subordinate unit with the Wing. The award was created in 1954 and is presented to any Air Force unit which performs exceptionally meritorious service.

"This prestigious award is a testimony to the outstanding and dedicated service by the men and women of the 177th Fighter Wing Medical Group," said Brig. Gen. Maria Falca-Dodson, Commander, New Jersey Air National Guard. "Your contributions have made the difference both here and abroad. Congratulations and thank you for your commitment, dedication and resolve to our great state and nation."

The Medical Group joins an elite group of 36 Air Guard units nationwide in receiving the award. The Medical Group received the award for the period from March 30, 2006 to March 30, 2008. During that time, the Group provided support for Operations' Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Jump Start, Arctic Care and Task Force Grizzly. Medical Airmen have supported the State Partnership Program between New Jersey and the Republic of Albania by training numerous Albanian doctors, nurses, and technicians in emergency medical technician certification courses.

"These organizations enable the Air National Guard to fulfill its commitment to the missions of peacekeeping, humanitarian relief, domestic improvement, and most important of all defense of America," said Lt. Gen. Wyatt.

In addition to their support for national and international operations, the Group also received their second consecutive "Outstanding" rating during their March 2008 Health Services Inspection. To add to this accomplishment, they put together an HSI Consultation Team to assist other Air Force units in preparing for these inspections, which are considered among the most rigorous medical inspections in the Air Force. The 177th Team visited four other units; three of which have been inspected and attained either "excellent" or better ratings on their inspections.

"These Airmen are true professionals who have taken an interest in helping out other units and ensuring that they succeed," said Col. Robert C. Bolton, 177th Wing Commander.

Airman saves life

Master Sgt. James F. McCloskey, 177th Fighter Wing Medical Group Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of Nursing Services saved a fellow Airman's life on June 7, 2009. During the June Operational Readiness Exercise, McCloskey came to the rescue of an Airman who was choking to death and losing consciousness. Realizing that the individual was in distress and unable to breath, McCloskey charged past barriers and others in the way, removed the choking Airman's fl ak vest and chemical warfare protective equipment and conducted the Heimlich maneuver. His quick response and strength were the critical factors in saving the choking Airman. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, 177FW/PA.
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Volume 35 Number 1 Staff / Information
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