Altus, Travis air bases are finalists for prestigious award

Altus Air Force Base has been selected by Air Force leaders as one of two installations competing for the 2014 Commander-in-Chief’s Installation Excellence Award.

According to the public affairs office of the 97th Air Mobility Wing, the pilot training base in southwestern Oklahoma will compete against Travis Air Force Base in California for the award. The winning installation will receive $1 million for quality-of-life improvements and the runner-up $500,000.

Air Education and Training Command commander Gen. Robin Rand said, “Altus AFB has stood out as an example in innovation and cost-savings across our Air Force. This is a collective reflection of dedicated Airmen contributing to overall mission success. The result of their hard work can be seen throughout the service and around the world through global mobility.”

In a news release, the 97th Air Mobility Wing’s public affairs office wrote, “A few examples of Altus AFB’s efforts include its highly rated dual flying training units, revamping the aerial refueling track scheduling, achieving the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Voluntary Protection Program Star level, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, as well as the 96 idea contributions to the Cost Conscious Culture program, saving the Air Force $41.1 million.

“Selection for the Air Force-level winner is broken into two phases. The first phase consists of the functional expert working group developing recommendations for the Installation Excellence Review Committee, which eliminates all but two selected bases. The second phase is a visit to the two remaining bases by the Installation Excellence Selection Board.”

U.S. Air Force Col. Bill Spangenthal, the commander of the 97th, said in a release that the nomination highlights the wing’s efforts “in taking care of people and making the most of every dollar.”

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