« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Becky Nyland, Sabin, Minn., Published April 20 2013

Letter: 119th deserves a flying mission

I had the pleasure and honor of attending the 119th Outstanding Unit Award Ceremony on Saturday, April 6. It made me both proud and sad at the same time. You see, my husband has been a Happy Hooligan for over 30 years. He has been a part of many of the 15 OUAs that the Hooligans have earned.

Just to put it in some kind of perspective, no other unit in the U.S. has earned this many OUAs. This, along with the many William Tell competitions and Hughes Trophies they have won, made me so proud.

The William Tell competition is a worldwide weapons meet that tests pilots and ground crews from the U.S. Air Force’s top units in realistic, air-to-air combat situations. The Hooligans have won the William Tell competition three times, more than any other unit in the world.

The Hughes Trophy recognizes the most outstanding air-to-air unit in the U.S. Air Force. The Hooligans are the only Air National Guard unit to win the award twice with F-4s and the only F-16 unit to ever win the Hughes Trophy. I’m proud to be a part of that.

It wasn’t easy holding down the fort while my husband was deployed, or waiting for my friends to come back from dangerous places.

Now for the sad part: We are so close to losing the Happy Hooligans forever. I’m not upset for me, or my husband. He’s been at it long enough. He’ll be retiring soon. I’m sad for the rest of us. North Dakota has the best (not one of the best) “families” anyone could ask for. They really deserve another flying mission.