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Misawa’s maintainers are starting to reap the rewards of a busy, monumental year.

The 35th Maintenance Squadron was recognized as the top maintenance unit in U.S. Pacific Air Forces, earning the PACAF Maintenance Effectiveness Award for its 2007 accomplishments, according to Chief Master Sgt. Antonio Johnson, the squadron’s munitions flight chief.

The award recognizes a unit’s outstanding management of its resources, according to base officials.

Misawa maintainers were recognized for their contributions to the 35th Maintenance Group’s three “Outstanding” ratings during last spring’s Operational Readiness Inspection, Johnson said. They earned those high marks while supporting two consecutive Air and Space Expeditionary Force deployments to Iraq, he noted

While deployed to Balad, maintainers supported F-16s from Misawa and other locations, as well as other airframes and missions, from C-130s to combat search and rescue, Johnson said.

In fiscal 2007, Misawa flew more than 8,000 sorties and nearly 20,000 hours. That is more than a 50 percent increase from the previous fiscal year, according to an online base news story.

“It was a busy, rewarding year,” Johnson said.

Misawa maintainers are now in the running for an Air Force-level maintenance award, Johnson said.

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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