HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — The 75th Air Base Wing Legal Office was recently named Air Force Materiel Command’s 2016 Large Legal Office of the Year.
Winning the annual award provided a storybook ending to a banner year as the legal office had been named the legal office of the quarter three out of four times in fiscal year 2016, and had garnered numerous individual and group award winners at the major command and wing level.
The award is based on the legal office’s accomplishments as well as an objective, analytical evaluation based on the timeliness of military justice actions to include courts-martial, nonjudicial punishments, and administrative discharges.
In a stunning turnaround, the 75th ABW Legal Office went from next-to-last in Article 15 processing times in 2015 to first in AFMC in 2016. The legal office’s administrative discharge program was also first in AFMC.
Accomplishments went far beyond the numbers, though. A deployed Hill AFB JAG (judge advocate general) became the first American to argue in an Afghan terrorism prosecution, which ended with a terrorist receiving a life sentence. A deployed Hill AFB civilian attorney was—and still is—advising the Afghan Ministry of Defense on human rights violations; his harrowing deployment has been chronicled in an article published to the entire JAG Corps, which was introduced by the three-star JAG. The Acquisition and Fiscal Law division reviewed 671 contracts valued at over $6 billion, created a new evaluation process to withstand contract protests that is now used AFMC-wide, and pursued a contractor fraud case that is going to result in a Department of Justice prosecution. The Civil Law division provided over 90 legal reviews for the 2016 Hill AFB Air Show alone, including a review of a nearly $500,000 gift to aid in the show’s smashing success.
The office’s principal deputy, Ricke Hamilton, who has worked in the legal office since 1977, exclaimed, “This is the first time the office has won this award!”
A team of consummate consiglieres, the 75th ABW Legal Office proved itself in wartime and peace throughout 2016.