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San Angelo wins Altus Trophy for best community support in AETC

Lt. Gen. Steve Kwast (left), commander of Air Education and Training Command; Mr. Michael Boyd (center), Goodfellow Military Advisory Group member; and Dr. Joe Leverett, Altus Trophy committee chairman, hold up the Altus Trophy during the AETC Civic Leader's meeting Feb. 21, 2019, at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. The city of San Angelo (Texas) was awarded the trophy for 2019 for its outstanding community support to Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas.

Lt. Gen. Steve Kwast (left), commander of Air Education and Training Command; Mr. Michael Boyd (center), Goodfellow Military Advisory Group member; and Dr. Joe Leverett, Altus Trophy committee chairman, hold up the Altus Trophy during the AETC Civic Leader's meeting Feb. 21, 2019, at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. The city of San Angelo (Texas) was awarded the trophy for 2019 for its outstanding community support to Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sean Worrell)

Col. Dedra Witham (left), Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs director; Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast, commander of AETC; and Dr. Joe Leverett (right), Altus Trophy committee chairman, notify Col. Ricky Mills, 17th Training Wing commander via cell phone of the City of San Angelo (Texas) selection as the winner of the 2019 Altus Trophy Feb. 21, 2019, at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas.  The trophy is given to the AETC community that provides the best support to its local military installation.

Col. Dedra Witham (left), Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs director; Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast, commander of AETC; and Dr. Joe Leverett (right), Altus Trophy committee chairman, notify Col. Ricky Mills, 17th Training Wing commander via cell phone of the City of San Angelo (Texas) selection as the winner of the 2019 Altus Trophy Feb. 21, 2019, at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. The trophy is given to the AETC community that provides the best support to its local military installation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dan Hawkins)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- Lt. Gen. Steve Kwast, commander of Air Education and Training Command, announced the community of San Angelo, Texas, as the winner of the 2018 Altus Trophy during a brief ceremony with AETC’s Civic Leader Group, Feb. 21, here.

The trophy, which is presented in partnership with the Altus Chamber of Commerce, is given to the AETC community that provides the best support to its local military installation.

“Building relationships that help our Airmen feel connected to and respected in the communities in which they serve is so critical to our ability to execute our mission,” Kwast said. “This award truly symbolizes the community’s impact on and relationship to our bases in AETC.”

Mr. Michael Boyd, a retired banker who is a member of the Goodfellow Military Advisory Group and also served in the military, accepted the trophy on behalf of the city.

“We are extremely proud and humbled by this honor,” Boyd said.  “Our community is so supportive of the military because of our culture and the fact we embrace what the Air Force does for our nation.  Our partnership with Goodfellow is easy because it’s the right thing to do for our community and the Airmen who serve here.”

Through its partnership and support of Goodfellow Air Force Base, the city of San Angelo, with the support of the Goodfellow Military Advisory Group, was selected as this year’s trophy recipient.

A few of the accomplishments that lead to San Angelo being selected are as follows:

  • Matching the vision of AETC’s Strategic Plan regarding need to integrate the use of immersive technology into training and working with the Defense Information Systems Agency and Air Combat Command, the military advisory group secured $20 million to fund the installation of 40-gigabit fiber optic cable, enabling the use of enhanced capabilities in the virtual-reality, mixed-reality and artificial intelligence arenas throughout the wing. 

     

  • Worked through the state of Texas and many other local partners to secure approximately $4.5 million in funding to update technology in classrooms at Goodfellow AFB used for intelligence training, as well as upgrade the base dining facility.  The upgrades allowed enhanced capabilities for in several areas, including the use of live-stream video, to be integrated into classes, helping Airmen achieve the competency level they need to be more lethal and ready to accomplish their missions.

     

  • Introduced legislation in the state of Texas in an effort to help military spouse certifications and licensure transfers from one state to another become easier to accomplish during military permanent change of station moves.  The legislation is aimed to ensure these licenses are are accepted immediately in the state of Texas, thereby helping military spouses find employment faster.

     

  • With 29 memorandums of understanding in place between the city and the base, San Angelo is one of the Air Force leaders in developing public-to-public, public-to-private partnerships, enabling the city and Goodfellow AFB to pool resources in an effort to reduce costs while retaining capabilities critical to their missions.  One example of the combined partnership is ambulatory services; the city of San Angelo provides ambulance support to the base in return for assistance with vehicle maintenance, with both sides maintaining capabilities they otherwise might have potential issues fulfilling.

Each year, competing communities submit a package to the Altus Military Affairs Committee and the final decision is made by a panel of former AETC commanders.

“The trophy sits on a base that is a solid sheet of granite that is from the mountains just north of Altus Air Force Base,” Dr. Joe Leverett, Altus Trophy committee chairman, said moments before presenting the trophy. “This granite symbolizes the rock-solid support the communities give to the bases they support.”

Recognizing the pride that communities have in supporting their local military installation and the Airmen who serve there is really what the award is all about, Leverett explained.

“One of the things that I love most about this program is when this trophy is officially presented within the community, looking out and seeing the sense of pride, the look of validation as they are awarded for taking care of their Airmen and their communities,” Leverett said.