Maintenance Group Wins Phoenix Award

HURLBURT FIELD, FL -- The 1st Special Operations Maintenance Group was named the winners of the coveted Department of Defense Phoenix Award, the highest field-level maintenance award within the DOD, Oct. 29, in Denver.

Representatives from the 1 SOMXG were on hand at the award ceremony during the 2008 DOD Maintenance Symposium and Exhibition. "Col Soc [Socrates] Greene, the previous maintenance group commander, deserves the recognition for leading the group during this award period," said Col. Peter Robichaux, 1 SOMXG commander. "To be recognized as the Department of Defense's best field-level maintenance unit epitomizes the pride and excellence with which our Commando maintainers operate on a daily basis, at home and abroad. We couldn't be any prouder of the men and women of the 1st Special Operations Maintenance Group."

The 1 SOMXG earned the honor by accomplishing "truly superior aircraft maintenance," which supported the generation of 3,200 combat sorties that flew nearly 14,000 hours over hostile territory. Challenged with a $336 million modification program and the bed down of two new weapon systems at home, the maintainers were still able to generate 4,200 training sorties that produced more than 3,100 combat-ready aircrew needed for Air Force and joint missions.

Despite this imposing operation-tempo, maintenance Airmen throughout the group still supported 65 off- and on-station training and exercise commitments, leaned multiple processes -- highlighted by a revamped training program that saved 98,000 labor hours per year -- and accomplished more than 33,000 training events.

The maintenance group includes 2,686 active-duty Airmen, 135 civil-service members and 450 contractors. "We celebrated with the entire maintenance group and unveiled the trophy on Nov. 14 at the Phoenix Award Barbecue," the colonel said.