by Courtesy of Leadership Council of Southwestern Illinois
4/28/2015 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- The
Southwestern Illinois area was presented the coveted Abilene Trophy
April 17 for the second time in the last three years in recognition of
the extensive support demonstrated during 2014 for Scott Air Force
Base's military members and their families.
Also known as the Air Mobility Command Community Support Award, the
award is presented annually to recognize the community that provides the
finest support to an Air Mobility Command unit. The Leadership Council
Southwestern Illinois spearheaded this year's nomination on behalf of
the St. Louis region, submitting an application that highlighted a
series of "firsts" that really brought to life the depth of the region's
ongoing commitment for the men and women at Scott. The award will be
presented to the base in the near future.
"2014 was a remarkable year in 'Scott Country,' during which new
programs, initiatives and milestones, combined with ongoing efforts,
helped to build on the region's solid foundation of support for the men,
women and families of Scott AFB and further strengthened the unique
bond we share," said Ellen Krohne, Executive Director of the Leadership
Council Southwestern Illinois. "As with the win in 2013, it was
widespread regional support that propelled us into the No. 1 slot again,
and we thank the many individuals, businesses, organizations and
communities whose continuing passion to serve our military families has
us now looking forward to bringing the Abilene Trophy back to Scott Air
Among the firsts showcased in the nomination were:
· Air Force Times ranking of Scott AFB as the No. 1 air base in the
nation for airmen, and the many reasons contributing to that honor;
· The role of regional leaders in securing passage of House Bill 3939,
which assured for the first time ever that prior schooling counts for
the children of military families transitioning to Scott AFB;
· The first ever "Salute to Scott Air Force Base" as the Leadership
Council dedicated its entire annual awards dinner to Scott AFB,
highlighting the base and the individual missions housed there;
· Launch of the first-of-its kind networking event for veterans to help
facilitate employment in Southwestern Illinois for as many separating
military as possible;
· Celebration of the first Anniversary of the Scott Patriot Program,
which had grown to include an impressive 650 Patriots demonstrating
their "military friendly" commitment through discounts or other support;
· A summary of various other ways the region continues to further its
first class system of support for the airmen and their families.
Representatives from the Abilene Trophy selection committee cited the
definitive examples of support highlighted in this year's application,
and the comprehensiveness of the package in its entirety, as factors
that led to the Leadership Council's application capturing first place
among the communities vying for the 2014 award.
The announcement was made April 15 by Gen. Darren McDew, Commander of
Air Mobility Command, and Gray Bridwell, Chair of the Military Affairs
Committee for the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, during an annual spring
conference held at Scott Air Force Base.
On-hand for the announcement was Col. Kyle Kremer, 375th Air Mobility
Wing Commander, who had the pleasure of calling the Leadership Council
to relay the exciting news.
"Last year Air Force Times named Scott as the best base to be stationed
in the Air Force due to the quality of life and community support here,"
said Kremer. "This second Abilene Trophy win in three years further
highlights the superior relationship between the base and our Southwest
Illinois community. We are grateful for their heartfelt patriotism and
support, and are very proud to call them our family and friends.
Congratulations on this very well-deserved recognition!"
The official presentation of the Abilene Trophy will take place at a
community-wide celebration in the coming weeks, and more details will be
forthcoming as the plans are finalized. In the meantime, regional
leaders are relishing the repeat victory as Scott Air Force Base becomes
one of a very select group of bases to have won the Abilene Trophy more
Gerry Schuetzenhofer, Chairman of the Leadership Council's Military
Affairs Committee, said, "It's impossible to truly understand the depth
of the sacrifices made by the airmen of the Air Mobility Command Unit at
Scott Air Force Base without walking in their combat boots. Nor, can we
fully comprehend the extent to which this type of service impacts the
personal lives of their family members. What a community can do,
however, is what the businesses and individuals of the bi-state St.
Louis region are doing - continually seeking ways to honor these
individuals through demonstrating our respect, recognizing their
contributions and taking action to enhance their quality of life while
they are living here. We are thankful for the Abilene Committee's
consideration of our year of 'firsts' and the role they play in helping
the heroes at Scott Air Force Base, and their families, to thrive."
About the Abilene Award
The AMC Community Support Award was established Jan. 1, 1999 by the
Military Affairs Committee of Abilene, Texas, and the United States Air
Force Air Mobility Command. The award originated in 1989 under a
different Command but Air Mobility Command assumed sponsorship of the
award in 1999, at which time it was renamed the Abilene Trophy. The
award is now presented annually by the Abilene Chamber of Commerce
(ACOC) Military Affairs Committee and the Commander, Air Mobility
Command to a civilian community for outstanding support to a nearby AMC
base. The award is sponsored by the ACOC Military Affairs Committee, and
administered jointly by the committee and the Air Mobility Command
Office of Public Affairs. The award is to provide recognition for
activities conducted between January and December of the preceding year.
The City of Abilene is not eligible to receive this award. For more
information, contact Debra Morotini at the Abilene Chamber of Commerce
at (325) 677-7241 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.