Monday, April 30, 2012

EDITORIAL >> Trophy returns

Little Rock Air Force Base and central Arkansas continue to win recognition from Air Mobility Command for outstanding community relations.

The air base and its community council have won the prestigious 2011 Abilene Trophy, the Air Mobility Command’s Community Support Award.

According to the Air Force, the Abilene Trophy is presented annually to a civilian community for outstanding support to a nearby AMC base and the winner is determined by a selection group of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee in Texas with final approval by AMC.

This is the second time in three years that Team Little Rock has won the coveted award, which is well deserved. After all, Air Force officials have said for decades that LRAFB enjoys the best community support in the nation. Latest examples include Jacksonville voters approving a penny sales tax for the Joint Education Center in front of the air base, which opened last year and was built in partnership with the Pentagon for $14.6 million.

The Flightline Academy also opened last year with support from Hunt Development Group and Pinnacle Management, the developers of private housing on base, which gave $600,000, along with $200,000 from the Wilson family.

The community has also given thousands of dollars in support of the air rodeo last year at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., where the 314th Airlift Wing was declared world champions.

“This award says it all — we have the world’s best community support,” said Col. Thomas Crimmins, 19th Airlift Wing vice commander. We couldn’t agree more.