552nd ACW awarded Meritorious Unit Award Published Nov. 7, 2016 By Ron Mullan 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- The 552nd Air Control Wing has been awarded the Meritorious Unit Award for the period June 1, 2015, to May 31, 2016. During this period, the 552nd ACW distinguished itself by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service to the United States in direct support of combat operations in Southwest Asia. An award streamer was presented to the wing during the third quarter awards ceremony held Oct. 25 in Fannin Hall. Col. Bradley Bird, 552nd ACW vice commander, and presiding officer for the event, attached the streamer to the unit guidon held by Chief Master Sgt. Michael Stephens, 552nd ACW chief enlisted manager. After the streamer was attached, Colonel Bird addressed the audience. “I am very proud to be here today,” said Colonel Bird. “I am most proud of the professionalism and outstanding airmanship documented in this citation. The multi-faceted operations that you supported over the past year were simply phenomenal and earned recognition at the national level with this Meritorious Unit Award. Thank you, each and every one of you for your dedication to our great country.” The citation noted that the wing made history by deploying the first E-3G block 40/45 aircraft to a combat theater in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. The presence of this modified aircraft resulted in enhanced command and control capabilities in support of coalition forces. The operation resulted in the liberation 40,000 Kobane civilians. In addition, the 552nd ACW assisted Turkish forces through their first Inherent Resolve missions, by synchronizing 40 allied aircraft in support of combat operations. The 552nd ACW generated 10 sorties supporting AFSOUTH’s counter-drug operations with the aid of various law enforcement agencies by tracking 1,336 aircraft and 671 surface vessels. The wing provided support to 10 presidential and 24 Operation Noble Eagle taskings, which included the first visit by the President of the United States to Cuba in 80 years.