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Hunter air control unit earns honors
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Lt. Gen. Craig R. McKinley, the director of the Air National Guard, announced in Washington late last month the 117th Air Control Squadron, garrisoned at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, has received the National Guard Association of the United States Outstanding Air Control Unit Award for 2007.
This award is bestowed annually on the air control unit judged to be the best nationwide among 10 Air National Guard air control units.
The 117th deployed to Balad Air Base, Iraq, for more than four months in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Members of the unit provided surveillance, identification and air battle management within the 270,000 square miles of Iraqi airspace by deploying 98 unit personnel to serve as the Joint Forces Air Component Commander’s Control and Reporting Center for OIF, the first Air National Guard unit to perform the CRC’s fast-paced and complex OIF mission.  
Air Battle Managers controlled more than 20,400 missions, all the aircraft in the world’s busiest and most congested airspace, often with as many as 60 aircraft under the direction of only one ABM.
117th ABMs directed the close air support response to more than 350 soldiers and marines who were under enemy fire, and performed 3,645 air refueling missions and managed the effective offload of 1.7 million pounds of fuel per day.
Only five months after retuning to Savannah, the 117th hosted five active duty Air Force inspectors from Headquarters, 8th Air Force from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana for a standardization and evaluation inspection, garnering praises for three “superior performers” and an overall “excellent” rating.
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