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March 7, 2010, designated as 103rd Maintenance Group Day in the State of Connecticut

Maj. Gen. Thaddeus Martin, The Adjutant General and commander of the Connecticut National Guard, addresses the 103rd Maintenance Group along with unit members’ family and friends who attended an awards ceremony in the main hangar at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. March 7, 2010. Gen. Martin praised the group for their exemplary performance over the past year. (U.S. Air Force photos by Tech. Sgt. Erin McNamara)

Maj. Gen. Thaddeus Martin, The Adjutant General and commander of the Connecticut National Guard, addresses the 103rd Maintenance Group along with unit members’ family and friends who attended an awards ceremony in the main hangar at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. March 7, 2010. Gen. Martin praised the group for their exemplary performance over the past year. (U.S. Air Force photos by Tech. Sgt. Erin McNamara)

Members of the 103rd Maintenance Group stand at attention during an annual awards ceremony at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. March 7, 2010, where the group’s leadership recognized and presented over 60 awards to its outstanding servicemembers. (U.S. Air Force photos by Tech. Sgt. Erin McNamara)

Members of the 103rd Maintenance Group stand at attention during an annual awards ceremony at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. March 7, 2010, where the group’s leadership recognized and presented over 60 awards to its outstanding servicemembers. (U.S. Air Force photos by Tech. Sgt. Erin McNamara)

BRADLEY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, East Granby, Conn. -- Members of the 103rd Maintenance Group assembled March 7, 2010, for an annual awards ceremony held in the main hangar on base where the group's leadership recognized and presented over 60 awards to its outstanding servicemembers.

The maintenance group's recognition commenced when Connecticut's Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Thaddeus Martin presented the Governor's Proclamation to the 103rd Maintenance Group's Commander, Lt. Col. Gerald McDonald.

"Whereas, the 103rd Maintenance Group's actions greatly assisted the nation's and the state of Connecticut's effective and successful contributions in the fight on the Global War on Terrorism; and therefore, I, M. Jodi Rell, Governor of the State of Connecticut, do hereby officially designate March 07, 2010, as "103rd Maintenance Group Day" in the State of Connecticut, and I urge our citizens to remember the price of freedom and liberty in the world, the United States, and in our State of Connecticut."

The recipients earned a variety of awards throughout 2009 ranging from the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Commendation Medal and Achievement Medal. Multiple other awards were earned while the unit was deployed to Southwest Asia during August and September of 2009.

"This is a great day," said the 103rd Airlift Wing's commander, Col. Francis Detorie.

"Today we recognize the enlisted personnel that support our wing and contribute to the success of our mission."

"I'm proud to attend today's award ceremony and I appreciate the hard work and true success of the maintenance group. The award winners all have some things in common. Thank you all for making a significant difference and making the world notice that Connecticut is doing their fair share and more," said Detorie.

The 103rd Maintenance Group has been going through great transition for the past several years. Lt. Col. McDonald highlighted that 2009 was a year of transition.

"It was the year that we transitioned from being a new player in the C-21 community to being a leader in the C-21 community, deploying the first blue-suit C-21 maintenance package that demonstrated our capabilities through outstanding results. It was a year that our CIRF, which is still in transition, was recognized as one of the best CIRFs world-wide with an unprecedented record in production quality," said McDonald. "This type of transition can only be accomplished through the hard work and dedication of committed individuals who are passionate about the success of this organization."

In addition to the success of the maintenance personnel, the support of their families was clearly evident. As one looked around the maintenance hangar, multiple family members were present and witnessed their sons, daughters, mothers and fathers receive their awards.

The closing remarks were some of the most poignant as Gen. Martin expressed his appreciation to the men and women of the 103rd Maintenance Group.

"It is now evident that the 103rd Maintenance Group is leading the wing [in excellence]," he said.