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4th AF recognizes "Best of the Best" at Raincross Awards ceremony

  • Published
  • By Candy Knight
  • 4th Air Force Public Affairs

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Fourth Air Force and members of the Riverside community joined together Nov. 19 to recognize the “best of the best” during the 20th Annual Raincross Awards dinner at the Riverside Convention Center here.

The event, sponsored by the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce, celebrates the outstanding achievements of 4th Air Force, headquartered at March Air Reserve Base, California. Additionally, the ceremony honors the relationship between Fourth Air Force and the Riverside community.

Maj. Gen. Hubert C. Hegtvedt, Deputy to the Chief of Air Force Reserve, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia, was the keynote speaker. Maj. Gen. Randall A. Ogden, 4th Air Force commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Cynthia Villa, 4th Air Force command chief, presented the prestigious awards.

The 507th Air Refueling Wing, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., earned the title of “Best of the Best in Fourth Air Force,” and received the Raincross Trophy.

The men and women of the 507th ARW were honored for their outstanding service to the United States by providing rapid global mobility capability with mission-ready Citizen Airmen in support of U.S. national security objectives.

The 2019 4th Air Force Medical Excellence Award was awarded to the 911th Aeromedical Staging Squadron Pittsburgh Air Reserve Base, Pennsylvania.

The 911th ASTS were recognized for many accomplishments including expanding medical support eight sister units in the tri-state region and supporting more than 1700 additional total force members.

The 439th Mission Support Group, Westover Air Reserve Station, Massachusetts earned the 2019 Technical Sergeant Anthony C. Campbell, Jr. Trophy for Mission Support Group Excellence.

The unit was honored for their continued ability to excel above and beyond the call on multiple occasions. This included executing 20 US Secret Service support missions, providing more than 2,000 personnel hours in support of President and Vice President of the United States. In addition, members of the group’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit provided more than 130 hours as volunteer firefighters, responding to multiple emergency calls and saving multiple lives.

The 2019 Aircrew Excellence Award was presented to the 315th Operations Group, Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina for the actions a Charleston C-17 Globemaster III aircrew took during a mission from Panama to the country of Curacao, located in the Lesser Antilles, earlier in the year.

On June 1, 2019, the aircrew, using the callsign REACH 111, departed the United States in support of Joint Interagency Task Force South, the United States’ continuing support/interdiction efforts in Central and South America to fight the flow of narcotics, to airlift a U.S. Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Panama to its forward operating location on the island nation of Curacao. After a weather delay in Panama, the crew began the final leg of their airlift delivery.

Unknown to the crew, there was a faulty wire bundle that had chafed and was sparking in the wing pylon. One hundred and twenty nautical miles into the trip, the aircraft experienced an engine failure, and a hydraulic leak, which is crucial to lowering the landing gear. The crew used an auxiliary hydraulic pump to lower the landing gear successfully and land safely.

The crew of REACH 111 executed a complicated international mission, dealt skillfully with challenging weather, aircraft systems malfunctions, and an insidious and initially hidden in-flight aircraft fire.

The 2019 Chief Master Sergeant James K. Clouse Trophy for Maintenance Excellence was awarded to 916th Maintenance Group, Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.

The 916th MXG has been recognized for many accomplishments including leading the largest military construction project in with the design of a new KC-46 hangar, and executing a severe weather fly-away plan, safely evacuating 27 F-15s, eight KC-135s, more than 100 personnel, thus ensuring nearly $1.7 billion in assets, and all personnel, were safe and secure.

Mr. Jamil Dada of Riverside, California, was the recipient of the inaugural 4th Air Force Community Leader of the Year Award.

Dada has served the Riverside community and March ARB for more than 30 years. He serves as President of the March Field Air Museum, which holds one of the largest collections of military aircraft on the West Coast. Additionally, he is the first resident of Riverside to serve on the Air Mobility Command’s Civic Leader Program at March Air Reserve Base.

The Raincross Trophy recognizes exceptional airmanship during an individual mission or sustained operations and carries bragging rights as the best wing or group in the numbered Air Force.

In 1998, the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce elected to commemorate the ‘return home’ of Fourth Air Force, by creating a new trophy -- The Raincross Trophy - to honor the best of the best in 4th Air Force.