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251st CEIG and 123rd ACS earn Distinguished Mission Support Plaque

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  • By Airman 1st Class Amber Mullen

The 251st Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group and the 123rd Air Control Squadron Wing won the National Guard Association of the United States Distinguished Mission Support Plaque on July 18 at Springfield Air National Guard Base, Ohio.

The Distinguished Mission Support Plaque is awarded annually to the top five mission support units in the Air National Guard. Every year, more than 600 units are eligible to apply for the award.

Since 2007, the 251st CEIG has won the Distinguished Mission Support Plaque four times for their continuous support to combatant commands, U.S. Strategic Command, Aerospace Expeditionary Force, Army Central Command, and the United States Africa Command.


In 2018, the 251st CEIG completed over 100 infrastructure projects and managed the engineering installation community’s mobilization in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

“Being recognized is a great reflection on our Airmen and their hard work,” said Col. Wade Rupper, the commander of the 251st Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group. “Our average Engineering Installation Airmen does about 100 days of duty a year. That’s not one weekend a month and two weeks a year. It’s rewarding but it is a great sacrifice for our Airmen to be able to do the mission.”

For the past seven years, the 123rd ACS has won the Distinguished Mission Support Plaque every year for their continuous support to other units, training exercises, stateside relief efforts and the state partnership program.


“From a command perspective, I see every day all of the hard work that our people put in and it is great to see them recognized for it,” said Lt. Col. Nick Fago, the commander of the 123rd Air Control Squadron.

In 2018, the 123rd ACS participated in a deployment and upon return, they used their knowledge and skillsets to train other units for deployments.

“We sent a team around to various Air Control Squadrons and helped them prepare for their deployment based on our current knowledge of the area,” said Fago.

Through the award, both the 251st CEIG and the 123rd ACS were recognized for all of their hard work, dedication, and service to the Air National Guard and the Air Force.

“It validates all of the hard work that the unit puts in,” said Rupper. “We can’t do what we do here at [the group level] without the support of all of our units.”

The 251st CEIG and the 123rd ACS embody the Air Force’s core value of excellence in all we do. Through their numerous contributions, the units are able to enhance the mission of the Air National Guard.