The Air Force Historical Foundation presented its highest honors during a ceremony held January 30, recognizing one Air Force unit and four individuals for their exceptional contributions to the making and/or recording of air power history.
Held at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Virginia, the Foundation’s recently elected Chairman & President, Lt. Gen. Christopher Miller (USAF Ret.) led the assembled Foundation board members, distinguished civilian and military Air Force leaders, industry partners, Foundation members and friends in a celebration of those who make and record American airpower.
James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle Award
The first honor to be given was the James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle Award, which recognizes a unit that has displayed bravery, determination, discipline, “esprit de corps” and superior management of joint operations in multiple conflicts. This year’s winner is the 432nd Wing, Creech AFB, Nevada – which was originally activated in February 1943 to train pilots during World War II.
Today, 432nd Wing “Hunters” execute ground-breaking, multi-role global persistent attack and reconnaissance missions with more than 130 MQ-1B Predator, MQ-9 Reaper and RQ-170 Sentinel aircraft employed across the globe. In 2017 alone, the 432nd Wing flew more than 11,000 sorties and 233,000 flight hours across six theaters – while simultaneously supporting five Combatant Commands.
Accepting the award on behalf of the unit was its current commander, Col. Julian Cheater, who paid tribute to the men and women of the 432nd that continue to innovate, aid joint forces, support partner nations and deliver justice to enemies of the United States.
Taking home the Best Air Power History Article Award for 2016 was Dr. William P. Head – Chief of the History Office, Robins AFB, George – who was honored for his piece titled: “They Called Defeat Victory: Lam Son 719 and the Case for Airpower.” He has 14 book-length publications to his credit in total.
The Best Air Power History Book Award winner for 2016 is “The Other Space Race” by Dr. Nicholas Sambaluk – an Associate Professor of Strategy at Air University eSchool of Graduate Professional Military Education. It is a unique look at the early U.S. space program and how it shaped and was shaped by politics during the Cold War.
One of the world’s premier aviation artists, Keith Ferris, received the Air Force Historical Foundation’s Major General I. B. Holley Award, which recognizes a sustained, significant contribution to the research, interpretation and documentation of Air Force history during a lifetime of service.
Culminating this year’s awards, Under Secretary of the Air Force Matt Donovan joined AFHF President Miller in honoring General Richard B. Meyers, whose distinguished military career includes command and leadership positions in a variety of assignments, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Myers was presented with the prestigious General Carl “Tooey” Spaatz Award for significant contributions to the making of Air Force history, and closed the gala evening in outstanding fashion, with personal and wide-ranging reflections on Airmen and airpower.
The ceremony was held with support of event partner L3 Technologies; reception partner Northrop Grumman; beverage partner Pratt & Whitney; and dinner partners Boeing, Leidos, General Atomics, Lockheed Martin and General Electric.