SAN ANGELO, TX — This is a big deal, explained Carol Ann Bonds, who has worked tirelessly on the partnership between Goodfellow Air Force Base and San Angelo’s business community and local governments since retiring as the Superintendent of the San Angelo ISD.
“This isn’t an award for participation,” Bonds said last night at a San Angelo Chamber of Commerce gala celebrating the accomplishment. She noted that the accomplishments resulting from the partnership between San Angelo’s local governments and the business community amounts to a sizable portfolio.
This is the second time San Angelo has been awarded the trophy in 12 years, according to Bonds.
WATCH: San Angelo Awarded the Altus Trophy:
The Altus Trophy means that San Angelo as a community provided the best support for a local Air Education and Training Command installation, a major command in the U.S. Air Force, over the 12 months of 2018.
Bonds was involved in the Chamber’s Goodfellow Military Advisory Group headed by retired banker Mike Boyd.
Among the accomplishments this year that led to San Angelo’s recognition in the Altus Trophy award:
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.
The trophy presented locally last night was formerly awarded to San Angelo at a meeting of AETC’s Civic Leader Group Feb. 21 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio.
“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,” Lt. Gen. Steve Kwast, Commander of AETC said. “This award truly symbolizes the community’s impact on and relationship to our bases in AETC.”
Each year, competing communities submit a package to the Altus (Oklahoma) Military Affairs Committee and a panel of former AETC commanders makes the final decision.
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.