113th Wing recognized with two national awards

  • Published
  • By Capt. Mike Odle
  • 113th Wing Public Affairs
The 113th Aerospace Control Alert (ACA) Detachment, District of Columbia Air National Guard was selected as the 2012 ACA Unit of the Year March 21. The unit is one of 16 units nationwide where fighters sit at the ready to defend America's airspace.

"We are the Capital Guardians and when it comes to defending the Washington skies, the DC Air National Guard is always ready," said Brig. Gen. Marc Sasseville, 113th Wing Commander. "No matter the mission, we remain ready, reliable and vigilant any time of day or night."

The Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, 1st Air Force, selected the 113th ACA in part because of the unit reaching a major air defense milestone in January. The unit, one of the busiest in the nation, exceeded 4,000 alert events, more than the other 15 ACA units combined, since Operation Noble Eagle started in September 2001.

"I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of the men and women of the 113th ACA detachment," said Lt. Col. Chris Hardgrave, 113th ACA Commander. "This award is a testament to the dedication, professionalism and daily sacrifice of our Airmen who have done the alert mission for over 11 years."

Also being recognized by 1st Air Force as the 'top cop' in ACA was Security Force's Airman Master Sgt. Persico. Sergeant Persico was recognized for his stellar performance as program security manager for the most active air defense unit in the nation. His leadership ensured zero discrepancies on the recent Alert Force Evaluation for the unit.

"These two awards distinguish the vigilant and smart work of the detachment members and its leadership," said General Sasseville.

The ACA mission serves as a component of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, a United States and Canada bi-national organization commonly known as NORAD. It provides air defense coverage for the Continental NORAD Region or CONR.

In collaboration with homeland defense, security and law enforcement partners, the primary mission of NORAD is to prevent air attacks against North America by safeguarding the sovereign airspaces of the US and Canada. This mission also includes responding to unknown, unwanted and unauthorized air activity approaching and operating within these airspaces.