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News > Del Rio, Texas wins Altus Trophy
Del Rio, Texas wins Altus Trophy

Posted 12/19/2012   Updated 12/19/2012 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Nathan Maysonet
47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

12/19/2012 - LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas  -- Official word was given Dec. 18 that the city of Del Rio brought home the coveted Altus Trophy thanks to its stellar support of Laughlin, home of the Air Force's busiest airfield.

The city of Del Rio won the 2013 Air Education and Training Command Community Support Award, known as the Altus Trophy, with substantial support from the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce's Military Affairs Association.

Developed by the Altus, Okla., Chamber of Commerce's Military Affairs Committee and Gen. Edward A. Rice, AETC commander, the award is presented to the community that has shown the most support and dedication to a nearby AETC base or unit.

"We're very proud of our military affairs association and the entire community for winning this award," said Col. Tom Murphy, 47th Flying Training Wing commander. "It's well deserved because the community's unending support is absolutely unparalleled."

Out of the nominations received, the City of Del Rio stood out as the top community thanks to its deep commitment to the lives of those serving here.

"What this award means is that our community and our base watch each other's backs," said Kurt Lemp, Del Rio Military Affairs Association president. "Our organization takes pride in the fact that for nearly 40 years we've been sponsoring classes here, helping people get through pilot training and supporting Laughlin. For an even longer time, Laughlin has been making our community better."

"This means a lot because it's not necessarily a Laughlin award or a Del Rio award, but it's our award," said Lemp.

Some of the things highlighted from the past year included the military affair's sponsorship of each pilot training class, the Running with the Bulls 5K which raised money for local food banks, the Del Rio Wild Game Dinner and fundraiser, and numerous other volunteer and community projects.

"When I was a student here 18 years ago, the MAA and Del Rio played a vital role in my life and was key to me graduating pilot training," said Murphy. "When I found out I was coming back here to be the vice and wing commander, I felt like I was coming back home because of the way this community supports its base."

Lemp said the community owes a big debt to Randa Ellis, Marisela Saenz and Capt. David Guenthner, 87th Flying Training Squadron. "Those three were our scribes. They put the package together and made it work."

Previous winners of the trophy are Columbus, Miss., in 2011 and Wichita Falls, Texas, won the 2012 award.

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