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Hooligans honored for safety

The National Guard has recognized Fargo's 119th Fighter Wing for its exceptional flight safety record. The North Dakota Air National Guard's Happy Hooligan's commander, Col. Robert Becklund, was presented the Maj. Gen. John J.

The National Guard has recognized Fargo's 119th Fighter Wing for its exceptional flight safety record.

The North Dakota Air National Guard's Happy Hooligan's commander, Col. Robert Becklund, was presented the Maj. Gen. John J. Pesch Flight Safety Trophy Thursday during the Guard's national conference in Las Vegas.

"Safety is something we emphasize at all levels and this level of performance is earned one day at a time, one flight at a time," Becklund said in a news release.

The 119th Fighter Wing operates F-16 fighter jets from bases at Hector International Airport in Fargo and at their permanent air defense detachment at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.

Since 1990, the Happy Hooligans have flown more than 65,171 hours in F-16 fighter jets without an accident. The Fighter Wing also has completed more than 51,600 hours of accident-free flying in F-4 fighters and another 20,860 hours in F-101 fighters, the news release stated.

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The Happy Hooligans' safety record is the longest for any Air National Guard unit and one of the best safety records in U.S. Air Force history, Becklund said.

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