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Award-winning partnership with the military: San Angelo honored with 2022 Altus Trophy

  • Published
  • By Miriam Thurber
  • Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

SAN ANGELO, Texas—The city of San Angelo formally received the 2022 Altus Trophy in recognition of their outstanding community support to Goodfellow Air Force Base and the Airmen who serve there during a special presentation at Angelo State University Aug. 11.

Lt. Gen. Brian Robinson, commander of Air Education and Training Command, and Dr. Joe Leverett, chairman of the Altus Trophy selection committee, were on hand to present the trophy, which is presented in partnership with the Altus (Okla.) Chamber of Commerce and awarded to the AETC community that provides the best support to its local military installation.

“It’s fitting to present this award here, at ASU,” Leverett said. “San Angelo’s academic institutions have deep partnerships with Goodfellow, a base with a unique education and training mission. Those partnerships are why we’re here today.”

One of those Goodfellow AFB had, for years, identified a rising on-base housing shortage even as the demand for training production increased. However, with plans for a 400-bed residence hall already in motion, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and the protocols put in place left the base without enough student housing.

The community of San Angelo stepped up and quickly drafted an agreement between ASU and Goodfellow to allow 110 military students to live in ASU dorms, eat at the dining facilities and use the university’s fitness center. This five-year agreement bridges the gap until Goodfellow’s residence hall is completed in 2026, and it saves the base nearly $2 million a year.

“The relationship between Goodfellow and the city of San Angelo is long-standing, and isn't just about sharing space and resources,” Robinson said. “It's also about sharing knowledge and experience. It's about exposing students to different perspectives and opportunities. This is a great example of what a thriving community/military partnership looks like.”

This knowledge exchange spans multiple career fields, including medicine, computer sciences and more. The 17th Medical Group currently opens its doors to nursing and physical therapy students for clinical rotations, and some ASU counseling psychology students are assigned to the  group for their practicum training.

Angelo State also offers scholarships for military instructors to attend both undergraduate and graduate professional development courses, while Goodfellow provides cybersecurity workshops and training.

Additionally, ASU allows Airmen who are graduates of various military education programs to transfer credits towards related bachelor’s and master’s degrees. For example, completing the 17th Training Group’s Intelligence Officer Course could count towards a master of science degree in global security studies at ASU.   

But the military-community partnership doesn’t just benefit students. Goodfellow and San Angelo medical professionals train side-by-side in disaster response, and they share resources for anti-violence awareness and prevention training within the military and the community.

An agreement also allows Goodfellow’s commissary to donate excess food to community organizations, and civilian providers can bring rescue dogs on base to interact with students and permanent party.

“The community partnership here runs deep and has been growing for years,” Leverett said. “San Angelo previously won the Altus Trophy in 2015 and again in 2018. This year’s presentation marks a third win, and another milestone in the military—community relationship.”

To read more about San Angelo’s Altus Trophy nomination, check out this story, and to dive into Goodfellow’s mission and additional community programming, visit the 17th Training Wing’s website.