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Immediate Release

DOD Announces 2023 Winner of Phoenix Award for Maintenance Excellence

The Department of Defense announced the 2023 winner of the Phoenix Award for Maintenance Excellence on December 19, 2023 at this year's Secretary of Defense Maintenance Awards ceremony. The ceremony was held in conjunction with the annual DoD Maintenance Symposium in San Diego, California. The Phoenix Award is presented annually to honor the best field-level maintenance unit in the Department of Defense. The 2023 winner of this prestigious award is the United States Air Force's 18th Maintenance Group based out of Kadena Air Base, Japan.

A group of people pose for a photo holding awards.
2023 Phoenix Award
The 2023 Phoenix Award for Maintenance Excellence is presented to the United States Air Force’s 18th Maintenance Group during the Department of Defense Maintenance Symposium in San Diego, Dec. 19, 2023.
Photo By: Warrant Officer Kelly Byers
VIRIN: 231219-D-D0439-1035

Members of the 18th Maintenance Group distinguished themselves by accomplishing superior aircraft and munitions maintenance for 80 aircraft. They provided air interdiction, combat search and rescue, aerial refueling, aeromedical evacuation, and command and control battle management capabilities that safeguarded national interests in the Indo-Pacific theater.  In total, the group generated 7,601 sorties and 17,600 flight hours with its fleet of F-15C, F-15D, KC-135, HH-60, and E-3 aircraft. The group provided intermediate-level maintenance, engine maintenance, and test equipment calibration for the entire Indo-Pacific region as the engine centralized repair facility and hosted the only active-duty Air Force base-level Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory. Most notably, the maintenance group played a critical role supporting and ensuring the safety of the highest-ranking congressional delegation to visit Taiwan in 25 years.  

The Phoenix trophy, permanently displayed in the Pentagon, will bear the 18th Maintenance Group's unit insignia.  Additionally, the group received a traveling version of the trophy that can be prominently displayed in their organization until next year's winner is announced.

Visit for the full list of 2023 Secretary of Defense Maintenance Award winners.