57th Wing earns Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

  • Published
  • By Daniel Wheaton
  • 57th Wing Historian

Air Combat Command officials recently proclaimed the 57th Wing, led by Brig. Gen. Michael Drowley, as among the very best, as the unit earned the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for its performance June 1, 2020, to May 31, 2021. “The unit earned the award for the fifteenth time in its history.

Following the announcement Drowley informed all wing members, “I want to thank each and every one of you for your hard work and dedication to the mission. Your commitment and work-ethic are second to none. The impact of your work is readily apparent across the Air Force and across the globe.”     

Train - Instruct - Lead” continues as the mission statement of the 57th, the United States Air Force’s most diverse wing, as it ensures the successful accomplishment of Air Force objectives. The vision of the wing remains “America’s Airmen prepared to Lead, Fight & Win our Nation’s Wars.”

Stated in the award nomination, “the 57th Wing is the USAF’s premiere advanced training organization. Through the dedication of our squadrons and elite cadre, the 57th Wing trains tens of thousands of Airmen, joint and coalition partners every year to lead the Air Force into the next generation of warfighting, and prepares our Airmen for tactical victory against any adversary, in any environment.”  

Wing personnel provide this training while managing the fast-paced and demanding flying operations at Nellis Air Force Base. Specifically, wing responsibilities include advanced aircrew training, tactics development and publication, maintenance and logistics, command and control training, and operational test support for U.S. and allied combat air forces the world over.

Units of the wing include the United States Air Force Weapons School, the 57th Operations Group, the 57th Maintenance Group, the United States Air Force Advanced Maintenance and Munitions Operations School, and the United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron (Thunderbirds). Several geographically separated units across the country extend the impact of the wing.

The Air Force established the wing at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, in March 1948 to provide air defense of Alaska, flying F-51, F-80, C-47, C-54 and C-82 aircraft. The unit redesignated as the 57th Fighter-Interceptor Wing Jan. 20, 1950, before its inactivation Jan. 1, 1951.

The service redesignated the unit as 57th Fighter Weapons Wing Aug. 22, 1969, activating it at Nellis AFB Oct. 15, 1969. At that time, the wing flew the A-7, F-4, F-100, F-105, F-111 and T-39 aircraft.

Other redesignations included the 57th Tactical Training Wing April 1, 1977; 57th Fighter Weapons Wing March 1, 1980; 57th Fighter Wing Oct. 1, 1991; and 57th Wing June 15, 1993.