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39th AS earns recognition as AMC’s most outstanding airlift squadron

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mercedes Porter
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

The 39th Airlift Squadron earned recognition as Air Mobility Command’s top airlift squadron for 2017. The 39th AS will be presented the 2017 General Joseph Smith Trophy during a ceremony Sept. 19 at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.

The award, which was previously won by the unit in 2007, recognizes the most outstanding airlift squadron within Air Mobility Command. The 40th Airlift Squadron won the trophy in 2004 and 2006.

The 39th AS completed approximately 18,000 training events, 302 position upgrades, 8,000 flight hours and participated in 47 community events while participating in operations in nearly every area of responsibility in the last year, said Capt. Travis Thornton, 39th AS C-130J Super Hercules pilot.

“The squadron works incredibly hard in support of the nation – just like every Airman,” said Thornton.  “With that said, I think everyone is very pleased to have our hard work recognized at the major command level. It has motivated our squadron to seek out more opportunities for success. Hopefully, we can win again next year.”

The 39th AS mission is to maintain quality aircrew and aircraft to mobilize, deploy and provide intratheater airlift worldwide for Department of Defense customers. The Airmen of the 39th AS support theater commanders' requirements with combat-delivery capability through tactical airland and airdrop operations, as well as humanitarian efforts and aeromedical evacuation.

“The 39th Airlift Squadron had a terrific year in 2017,” said Lt. Col. Mark Yarian, 39th AS commander. “The squadron was the only C-130 squadron in AMC who serviced two deployments to one of four combatant theaters in Africa or Asia in 2017.  The 39th also won a record of 10 AMC awards in 2017.”

Yarian also stated the award will be a symbol of recognition in the heart of each Airman and documented in their professional careers, but the trophy will remain with the winning squadron forever.  

“The 39th family has been through a lot, and this award is simply the culmination of perseverance, hard work and professionalism, which all C-130 communities are famously known for,” said Yarian. “Winning the Smith Trophy is a testament to the magnitude of impact that all ‘Herk’ squadrons still continue to have around the world.  It is a proud day for every 317th Airman who fly, fill, fix and facilitate our mission and who contributed to the winning of this prestigious award -- it is a team win.”