San Angelo community wins 2021 Altus Trophy for best community support in AETC

  • Published
  • By C Arce
  • Air Education and Training Command

Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of Air Education and Training Command, announced the 2021 Air Education and Training Command Community Support Award winner during an AETC Civic Leader Program meeting May 19.

This year’s winner, the San Angelo community outside of Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, received the award, also known as the Altus Trophy Award, that is presented in partnership with the Altus Chamber of Commerce and given to an AETC community that provides the best support to its local military installation. 

“We couldn’t be more grateful for the San Angelo community members who have always provided an immense amount of support to our military members and their families at Goodfellow Air Force Base,” Webb said. “Their accomplishments and initiatives this past year, and in years past, mirror AETC priorities. This award recognizes their partnerships with AETC, day in and day out.”

The San Angelo community has won the Altus Trophy before, in 2015 and 2018.

“We were totally surprised and honored to be this year’s winner,” Michael Boyd, Goodfellow AFB’s representative on the AETC Civic Leader Program, said.  “All of our community members are passionate about supporting the base and we have wrapped our arms around its military members.  Our goal has always been to think outside the box. It’s easy to meet the standard, but we want to improve on the standard and be excellent in that support.”

In San Angelo, the enduring partnership between military members and the community dates back to the establishment of Fort Concho in 1867.

“The military is the heart and soul of our city,” Dr. Carol Ann Bonds, an emeritus AETC civic leader program member and a member of Goodfellow’s team of community supporters, said. “We love our base and we want to support its members however we can.”

Each year, competing communities, located outside of AETC bases, submit packages to the Altus Military Affairs Committee, outlining their various initiatives and accomplishments. The final decision on the winner is determined by a panel of committee members and former AETC commanders.

 “The San Angelo community has done amazing work for Goodfellow and the Air Force over the years,” said Joe Leverett, Altus Trophy committee chairman and Air and Space Forces civic leader. “This program is one way to recognize their determined, hard work.”

A few of San Angelo’s accomplishments submitted with their package are:

San Angelo has over 55 formal memoranda of understandings that leverage various sources to reduce operation and services costs for both the city and the Air Force. The annual savings from the MoUs exceed $4 million for the Air Force and over $150,000 for the San Angelo community.

To align with AETC’s foundational initiative, “Fighting Through COVID-19” with operational readiness in mind, the San Angelo/Goodfellow team secured funding from Texas Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance grants for over $8.8 million to increase the number of highly classified classrooms and a new dining facility during the pandemic.

San Angelo members secured a $5 million DEAAG grant for a $10.4 million resiliency project that will reduce Goodfellow’s energy demands; provide secure micro grid capabilities in the event of electrical grid failure or cyber-attacks; provide an outdoor, covered physical fitness facility for base personnel; and provide an outdoor training facility for military working dogs.

To align with AETC’s priority to, “Develop and Foster Strategic Relationships and Partnerships,” San Angelo signed two intergovernmental support agreements. The first agreement provides contracted quarters for100 unaccompanied base personnel to access housing accommodations, dining hall and gym facilities at Angelo State University. This partnership provides housing relief at Goodfellow for five years, saving about $2 million per year. The second agreement is the Faculty Development Program (Doolittle Scholars,) where faculty development is provided for 20 instructors at ASU. Academic credits earned from this program can be used toward undergraduate and graduate degrees and saves the Air Force $436,000 over five years.

Nomination packages for consideration for the Altus Trophy are due Nov. 30, 2022, to the Altus Military Affairs Committee.

All communities who support AETC installations or tenant units are invited to apply. In 2019, the Little Rock Air Force Base Community Council won the Altus Trophy for their support of the 314th and 189th Airlift Wings.

More information about the process, previous winners and packages submitted by finalists can be found here.