FARGO - The North Dakota National Guard's 119th Wing, known as the Happy Hooligans, received its 19th Air Force Outstanding Unit Award at the Air National Guard base in Fargo.

During the Saturday, Jan. 6, ceremony, Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, North Dakota adjutant general, presented the award to unit members and commended them for their exceptional service, commitment and mission accomplishment.

"This, in my opinion, and you have the facts to back it up, is the best Wing in the United States Air Force," Dohrmann said.

The Happy Hooligans previously received the recognition in 1971, 1973, 1979, 1992 through 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2006 through 2008, 2010 and 2012 through 2015.

"I cannot be more proud of what the men and women of the North Dakota Air National Guard accomplish each day," said Col. Britt Hatley, 119th Wing commander, during the ceremony. "This award is another in a lineage of exceptional excellence spanning decades. Whether called by the nation or the state, the Hooligans stand ready for action."

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The recognition is given by the secretary of the U.S. Air Force to active-duty units in the Air Force, U.S. Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard that have distinguished themselves with exceptional service and outstanding achievement, including successful involvement with combat operations or exposure to hostile actions.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, over 2,600 North Dakota Air National Guard members have mobilized.