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251st CEIG earns Gen. Mark A. Welsh III One Air Force Award at NGB level

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Rachel Simones
  • 178th Wing

The 251st Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group earned the 2018 General Mark A. Welsh III One Air Force Award at the National Guard Bureau level, and was nominated for the same award for the entire Air Force at Springfield Air National Guard Base, Ohio.

The 251st CEIG won this award for its unprecedented contributions to the USSTRATCOM Command and Control Facility military construction project at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. This project is the largest in Air National Guard Engineering Installation history, and involved efforts from Active Duty, Air Force Reserve and other unified combatant commands.

“The team’s display of the Air Force core values of integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do, were at the forefront of their work ethic,” said Lt. Col. Sheree Patillo, the on-site commander of the Total Force Team. “Great, positive attitudes were an absolute necessity for us to be as flexible and adaptable as we had to be in our day-to-day operations.”

The General Mark A. Welsh III One Air Force Award recognizes two or more Air Force components that achieved mission success through improved effectiveness, operational readiness and integrated solutions.

“This new facility will serve as a visible reminder to allies and adversaries of our national commitment to maintain modern and effective [Nuclear Command, Control and Communications] capabilities,” said Gen. John Hyten, the commander of USSTRATCOM. “The robust IT infrastructure installed throughout this facility will allow for flexibility to accommodate both current missions as well as adapt to meet the needs of future missions.”

Members with the 251st CEIG utilized state-of-the-art technology to install the copper and fiber optic cable connectivity that enables the weapon system for this combatant command. The 251st team faced several challenges throughout this construction project, and worked up to 179-day increments to overcome infrastructure obstacles.

“I am extremely proud of the hard work that these members put in,” said Col. Wade Rupper, the commander of the 251st CEIG. “This project exemplifies the positive things which can occur with total force, interagency collaboration.”

The cohesive teamwork between units throughout the Air Force ultimately saved the Department of Defense more than $250 million in direct savings and cost avoidance.

“I am honored to have lead such a talented and versatile group of people, and to have been a part in this historic endeavor,” said Patillo.