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Maxwell garners top air show award for 2017

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange presents the Keys to the City to Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast, Air University commander, and Col. Eric Shafa, 42nd Air Base Wing commander, April 17, 2017. The mayor presented the keys as a show of appreciation for the Maxwell Air Force Base “Heritage to Horizon” Air Show, April 8-9, 2017. The International Council of Air Shows awarded Maxwell the Dick Schram Memorial Community Relations Award for having the best air show in 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Trey Ward)

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange presents the Keys to the City to Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast, Air University commander, and Col. Eric Shafa, 42nd Air Base Wing commander, April 17, 2017. The mayor presented the keys as a show of appreciation for the Maxwell Air Force Base “Heritage to Horizon” Air Show, April 8-9, 2017. The International Council of Air Shows awarded Maxwell the Dick Schram Memorial Community Relations Award for having the best air show in 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Trey Ward)

The 2017 Maxwell Air Force Base “Heritage to Horizon” Air Show drew a crowd of about 160,000 people during the two-day show, April 8-9, 2017. Aerial demonstration acts included the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the French Patrouille de France (pictured). The International Council of Air Shows awarded Maxwell the Dick Schram Memorial Community Relations Award for having the best air show in 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Trey Ward)

The 2017 Maxwell Air Force Base “Heritage to Horizon” Air Show drew a crowd of about 160,000 people during the two-day show, April 8-9, 2017. Aerial demonstration acts included the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the French Patrouille de France (pictured). The International Council of Air Shows awarded Maxwell the Dick Schram Memorial Community Relations Award for having the best air show in 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Trey Ward)

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --

Maxwell Air Force Base’s 2017 air show was recognized as being the best-of-the-best by the International Council of Air Shows recently.

Maxwell AFB received the Dick Schram Memorial Community Relations Award in front of nearly 1,000 top air show industry professionals attending the Chairman’s Banquet at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel on Dec. 6.

Only one of four awards presented at the banquet, the Schram Award is given each year to the military base that sets new standards of excellence in community relations in the planning, execution and rewards of its air show.

“The air show was a superb example of the great partnership displayed between Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery and the River Region,” said Joe Greene, Montgomery Chamber of Commerce vice president for Military and Innovation Strategies. “This was the largest air show in Alabama history. It hosted 160,000 visitors, generated 10 million dollars in local revenue and earned Maxwell the Montgomery mayor's Key to the City.”

The award selection panel consists of United States and Canadian military representatives and is the only ICAS award presented for start-to-finish excellence in planning and execution of an air show.

Established in 1988, the Schram Award was presented to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in 2016. This year marks the first time an active duty Air Force base has been presented the award since 2012.

Maxwell’s “Heritage to Horizon” air show director, Col. Doug DeMaio, accepted the award on behalf of the base and community.

“I was most honored to accept this award that represents the dedication, sacrifice, pride and professionalism of so many dedicated people from Maxwell and throughout Alabama’s River Region,” he said.

The Maxwell AFB air show marked the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I, the 75th anniversary of the Tuskegee Airmen’s 100th Fighter Squadron and the 70th birthday of the U.S. Air Force. Signature events included an Airpower Symposium, WWI statue dedication and two-day air show, the first air show at Maxwell AFB since 2010. Base and community planners garnered the direct advocacy for these historic events from senior leaders in the Air Force, the French air force, the WWI Centennial Commission, the city of Montgomery, and the state of Alabama.

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