SHREVEPORT, Louisiana (PRESS RELEASE) – Abilene, Texas, is the winner of the first Barksdale Trophy, in recognition of its support to Dyess Air Force Base.
The trophy was presented Wednesday at Barksdale AFB, home of Air Force’s Global Strike Command headquarters. The award was presented by Barksdale Forward, a civic organization that supports the Shreveport, Louisiana, military installation. The Barksdale Trophy recognizes the community that provides the finest support to an Air Force base associated with the Global Strike Command during the previous two years.
Dyess Airmen also won two awards in competition in the Global Strike Challenge. The challenge pitted bomber, intercontinental ballistic missile, helicopter operations and security forces units from Air Force Global Strike Command, Air Combat Command, Air Force Reserve Command and the Air National Guard. The competition was in May, but the results were not announced until Wednesday.
Awards won were:
- 7th Bomb Wing as Best B-1B squadron
- Best conventional bomb load
For the Barksdale Trophy, the Military Affairs Committee of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce submitted a 79-page package and details of:
- Support of Dyess Airmen;
- Improvements in infrastructure on and near the base;
- Engagement with local, state and federal elected officials;
- Development of relationships with Air Force officials, both personal and professional;
- Communication of the story of Abilene and Dyess.
Thirty-six activities over the past two years were detailed, reinforcing the emphasis Abilene has in supporting its Air Force Base. Six other Global Strike Command bases were eligible in the competition.
“The partnership with Dyess goes back to 1953 with donated land to form Dyess AFB and the passion has grown stronger every day,” said Gray Bridwell, chairman of the Military Affairs Committee. “Abilene understands the Dyess mission, loves its airmen, and embraces the families at Dyess. History makes us smarter, heritage makes us proud.”
Col. Brandon Parker, Commander of the 7th Bomb Wing, said, “We want to congratulate our partners in Abilene for this historic win. The Barksdale Trophy confirms what we know to be true and re-affirms the
rich legacy of communal partnership we share with the Big Country. I could not be prouder of what our combined team does to advance our nation’s defense.”
The Barksdale Trophy is not the first award Abilene has won for its strong relationship with and support of Dyess. Similar awards through the former Strategic Air Command, Air Combat Command and the current Military Airlift Command were won. Abilene is no longer eligible for the Airlift Command honor, since it has won so many times. The award was renamed the Abilene Trophy in 1999, and is presented annually by Military Affairs Committee members to the winning city.
This article is a press release from the Military Affairs Committee