Steel grit: 911th AW wins 4th AF Raincross as best of best for 2023

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Marjorie A. Schurr
  • 911th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Steel Airmen of the 911th Airlift Wing took top honors at the 4th Air Force Raincross awards by taking home the 2023 Raincross Trophy, March 6, 2024.

“My last official act as 911th AW commander was to accept the Raincross Trophy for best wing in 4th AF on behalf of the more than 1,250 Steel Airmen I have been privileged to lead over the past few years,” said Col. Bryan M. Bailey, former 911th AW commander. “It was my honor to be part of such an amazing team!”

The Raincross Trophy recognizes exceptional airmanship during an individual mission or sustained operations and carries bragging rights as the best wing or group in 4th AF. According to the award citation, Steel Airmen distinguished themselves as the best of the best by providing “unrivaled global mobility operations and wartime support, executing over 3,792 flying hours on 1,051 sorties, delivering over 6,000 passengers and 13.4 million pounds of critical cargo.”

Additionally, the wing deployed more than 230 Airmen to various worldwide throughout the year, served as Air Force Reserve Command’s number one Raven hub, and led the development and inaugural launch of Air Reserve Component (ARC) Athena, among many other contributions and achievements.

“The grit that you’ve shown and the determination to get the mission done here is amazing and greatly appreciated,” said Maj. Gen. D. Scott Durham, 4th AF commander, during the recent wing change of command ceremony held on March 2. “And it has been noticed.”

Noticed, indeed. The 911th AW has only been assigned to the 4th AF for six years since transitioning to the C-17 Globemaster III in 2018, but this is the year that Steel Airmen distinguished themselves as the best of the best among the 4th AF’s 18 wings.

“I’ve been assigned to the 911th AW since 2002, and in that time, I’ve had no greater honor than accepting the Raincross Trophy on behalf of the hard-working Steel Airmen assigned here,” said Chief Master Sgt. Dennis Jedrzejewski, 911th AW command chief. “I know how much pride goes into serving here in Pittsburgh and the many years of effort and selfless service that the men and women here have given in their tireless effort to execute the mission. The wing being awarded this trophy, to me, is resounding validation that the great people who work here genuinely care about their jobs and are proud to uphold the great and growing reputation of the 911th AW.”

The 911th AW is faithful to a proud heritage, a tradition of honor, and a legacy of valor. Steel Airmen don’t plan to stop here, said Col. Douglas Stouffer, 911th AW commander.

“The reputation of Steel Airmen’s hard work and grit precedes them wherever they go,” said Stouffer. “We will continue to pursue excellence in all we do no matter where the mission may take us.”