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A number of airmen in Japan will add a new ribbon to their full service dress uniform.

The 35th Fighter Wing and 5th Air Force were among six Pacific Air Forces units to receive the Air Force Outstanding Unit award, according to a recent announcement from Gen. Paul Hester, PACAF commander.

Airmen assigned to those units during the citation period qualify for the award decoration.

The secretary of the Air Force bestows the honor for achievement during a set time frame, according to military officials. Numbered units in any Air Force command qualify. The award, created in 1954, goes to units that:

Perform exceptionally meritorious service;Accomplish specific acts of outstanding achievement;Excel in combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States or conducts with distinction military operations involving conflict with, or exposure to, a hostile action by an opposing foreign force.The 35th Fighter Wing’s “outstanding” time frame was July 2004 through May 2006. Among its noted accomplishments, according to base officials, were numerous joint exercises and training with the Japanese military, leading the way for Misawa to be the first base to deploy F-16s to Exercise Cope India in 2005.

Also, throughout a busy operations tempo and deployment schedule, the wing scored numerous accolades, including the 2005 Commander in Chief Installation Award, Best Overseas Hospital, Best Overseas Commissary and the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron’s Curtin Award.

“The prestige associated with this award is a direct reflection of the high caliber and professionalism of the men and women of this wing,” said Col. T.J. O’Shaughnessy, 35th Fighter Wing commander, in a statement.

Fifth Air Force was recognized for achievements from Jan. 1, 2005, to Sept. 30, 2006.

Other outstanding units

Here’s the list of units that share the recently announced Outstanding Unit Award:

5th Air Force5th Air Force Operating Location605th Air Operations Group605th Air Operations Squadron624th Control Flight605th Air Intelligence Squadron605th Air Support Squadron605th Air Communication Flight20th Operations Weather Squadron (deactivated April 17, 2006)Anyone assigned to or attached to the above units from Jan. 1, 2005, to Sept. 30, 2006, is authorized to wear the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon. Members must provide documentation to their Military Personnel Flight that shows they worked directly for or were part of the unit during the award period.

Source: 5th Air Force

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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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