FARGO, N.D. — The Happy Hooligans of the North Dakota National Guard’s 119th Wing, received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (AFOUA) for the 20th time Saturday during a ceremony at the Air National Guard base in Fargo.
Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, North Dakota adjutant general, presented the award to unit members and commended them for their exceptional service, commitment and mission accomplishment. “The Happy Hooligans have a history, a culture, an attitude and a habit of excellence,” said Dohrmann. “With the Reaper mission, what we’re doing in the nuclear fields and the new ISRG (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance group) mission, we are more relevant right now to our homeland security and to the war fight in supporting our combatant commanders, than I believe we have ever been in our history.”
The award was accepted by Col. Darrin Anderson, 119th Wing commander, on behalf of the unit. “This award symbolizes that all missions across this wing are successfully executed at the highest level, with pride, professionalism and patriotism,” said Anderson. “Thank you, Happy Hooligans, for being steadfast guardians of our freedom and our way of life.”
The AFOUA is awarded by the secretary of the U.S. Air Force to numbered units of the active-duty Air Force, U.S. Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard that have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service or outstanding achievement, including successful involvement with combat operations or exposure to hostile actions by an opposing foreign force.
This recent award period was for achievements rendered from Oct. 1, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2017 in which the 119th Wing successfully executed combat and support operations for U.S. Central Command, Air Combat Command and Air Force Global Strike Command. Notable accomplishments by the wing included conducting the first ever MQ-9 sortie from a joint-use airfield, the 119th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group leading the entire Air National Guard enterprise in target production output and the 219th Security Forces Squadron achieving an unprecedented 99.6 percent alert rate while safeguarding $3.3 billion in U.S. Strategic Command nuclear assets.
The Hooligans previously received the award in 1971, 1973, 1979, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The North Dakota National Guard is a trained and highly motivated force of about 4,000 Citizen-Soldiers and Citizen-Airmen. We are always prepared to provide ready units, individuals and equipment in support of our communities, state and nation. Always ready, always there.