An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


168th Maintenance Group awarded Alaska Governor's Trophy

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Julie Avey
  • 168th Wing

The Alaska Air National Guard’s 168th Wing Maintenance Group received the Alaska Governor’s Trophy and the Alaska Governor’s Distinguished Unit Citation at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, August 4, 2023. 

The Alaska Governor’s Distinguished Unit Citation Ribbon honors Alaska National Guard personnel who perform outstanding service in mobilization. The Governor’s Trophy has been a tradition and a coveted award for Alaska National Guard units since 1970.

Maj. Gen. Torrence Saxe, Alaska National Guard adjutant general, presented the award on behalf of Governor Mike Dunleavy.

“This award is well deserved and reflects this team’s tireless work ethic and dedication to their complex and strategically important mission,” said Saxe.

Throughout 2022, 168 MXG remained steadfast on its mission in the Arctic and around the world, providing global reach with the generation of aircraft to deliver 12.5 million pounds of fuel to more than 1,500 receiver aircraft in four major commands. The maintainers not only ensured the 168th Wing aircraft were mission capable, but they also performed over 900 hours of maintenance on aircraft visiting Eielson AFB. 

“I am immensely proud of the outstanding men and women of the 168th Maintenance Group, and this award is well deserved,” said Col. Michael Griesbaum, 168th Wing commander. “They routinely exceed every expectation to ensure the success of our critical homeland defense mission, keep our aircrews current and qualified, and meet our aerial refueling requirements worldwide. Our tankers are in the most strategically relevant location in the world, but without our extraordinary maintainers, our mission simply could not succeed.”

As the only Arctic refueling wing, the 168 MXG maintained a busy schedule throughout the year with missions and exercises supporting the Secretary of Defense’s number one priority to increase air refueling in the nation’s most strategic area of operations.

The 168 MXG led the state in cross-utilizing and developing the Multi-Capable Airmen program. They initiated the program with 20 Airmen undergoing training on over 200 repair processes, enabling the generation of combat power in contested environments.

Volunteering is part of the 168 MXG spirit as they started the year responding to a severe snowstorm, “snowpocalypse,” aiding Fairbanks North Star Borough area residents trapped in the largest winter storm seen in a decade. The Airmen underwent Small Unit Support Vehicle training and established 24/7 rescue capability assisting stranded residents affected by extreme rain, snow, and long-term power outages.
The 168 MXG also mobilized in support of the state emergency Joint Operation Merbok, where they moved 60,000 pounds of debris, preventing further damage, and supported multiple villages and communities in distress.

Lt. Col. Jennifer Casillo, commander of the 168 MXG, addressed the Airmen receiving the Governor’s Trophy, saying, “The award is about the very specific things you all did for the mission. You all truly exemplify the spirit of service, not only to our state but our nation and each other.”