AETC Command Team celebrates Holloman, Alamogordo bond

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Isaiah Pedrazzini & 2nd Lt. Dionessis Jone Valdisimo
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Brian Robinson, commander of Air Education and Training Command, and U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Chad Bickley, AETC command chief, travelled to present the 2023 Altus Trophy Community Support Award to Alamogordo community leaders and to meet with members of the 49th Wing on June 3-4 2024.

The Altus trophy is a prestigious honor, awarded annually to recognize community members who provided support to the local AETC wing and its members. The award is presented by AETC, in partnership with the Altus Military Affairs Committee from Altus, Oklahoma.

“It’s the relationship with Alamogordo that is critical to the growth and development of Team Holloman and the success of our mission,” said U.S. Air Force Col John T. Ethridge, 49th Wing commander. “The 49th Wing and Holloman AFB only achieve the levels of success we see every day, through the support from this exceptional community.”

Throughout 2023, the Alamogordo community and members of Holloman AFB worked together to support events and programs, to include the Ace of Races Marathon, Project Search Program, Christmas parade. These events provided an opportunity for friends and family to learn more about the Holloman AFB mission and its people.

“The strong bond between Holloman AFB and Alamogordo can be attributed to several factors, primarily centered around their shared history, economic interdependence and a common pioneering and resilient spirit,” Jerrett Perry and Nick Paul from the Alamogordo Center of Commerce, wrote in the nomination package. “Supporting Holloman AFB gives the local community a significant sense of pride and is a demonstration of the appreciation for military personnel and their service to our country. The Alamogordo Center of Commerce, MainGate United and Veterans Affairs committee bring local clubs and organizations together to interact with Airmen, Guardians and military families.”

With over 12,000 Airmen and civilians living and working on the installation, Holloman accounts for approximately one-third of the community’s population.

“Alamogordo and Holloman have forged a strong partnership enhancing education, housing, and various community services, resulting in significant improvements for all residents,” said Susan Payne, Mayor of Alamogordo.

Members of Holloman foster a strong, mutually beneficial relationship with the Alamogordo community, touching on various aspects of life and opportunities that have developed. The partnership between the town and the base in building a new elementary school in Holloman is a prime example of this.

“This award stands as a testament to the unwavering dedication and support that the Alamogordo community has for Holloman and its personnel,” said Ethridge. “The unity and support we have received has strengthened our mission and the lives of those who serve.”

The AETC Command Team also visited the White Sands Mall Recruiting Station, home of the 367th Recruiting Squadron, where the general coined Staff Sgt. Taylor Brown, 367th RCS recruiter.

At Holloman, the command team met with Airmen over breakfast, toured dormitories, learned more about healthcare and mission support for the area and led an all call. The Fightin’ 49ers are responsible for building combat aircrews for the F-16 Viper and MQ-9 Reaper, graduating about 1,000 pilots and sensor operators annually.