GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Lt. Gen. Steve Kwast, commander of Air Education and Training Command, presented the AETC Community Support Award and the Altus Trophy to the city of San Angelo, March 20,2019.
During his visit, Kwast toured the base and the city of San Angelo and received information and demonstrations on San Angelo and Goodfellow AFB partnerships. These partnerships are the reason that San Angelo received the award and trophy this year.
“It is amazing how many partnerships this community has with the base,” said San Angelo Mayor Brenda Gunter. “It takes a community like San Angelo to make sure that our children are raised with good values and respect for the military and they all do.”
“The Altus Trophy sits on a granite base that is quarried from the Quartz Mountains just North of Altus Air Force Base and symbolizes the rock solid support the communities provides to their bases,” said Dr. Joe Leverett, Altus Trophy Committee chairman. “It takes five entities to earn something this big. It takes members from the community, the base, the major command, the Air Force and your congressional delegation. The lead dog pulling the sled is the community and you all have an incredible community here.”
The Altus Trophy is awarded to the community with the closest ties to their base within AETC. Every year, communities who support AETC bases submit packages.
“This process has exceeded my expectations,” said Leverett. “The process has evolved and matured over the years and it is always fulfilling to see all of the applications. It is worthwhile to see a community so proud of the award.”
Members of the San Angelo community and Goodfellow currently have 29 partnership memorandums of understanding signed with more in various stages of completion.
“This trophy does not just represent the fact that you provide outstanding support, it represents the fact that you are innovating here at Goodfellow Air Force Base and you never get comfortable with good enough,” said Kwast. “As we celebrate this trophy and we talk about the joy that comes with it, for me, it is a representation of the fact that you have always led the way and we are getting back to the basics of the American grit here in West Texas.”
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 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.
This is the tenth year of competition and the San Angelo community has been the recipient of the Altus Trophy twice.