The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and members of our Military Affairs Council were honored to host the Air Education Training Command’s (AETC) Trophy Presentation Reception at our historic downtown office. The attendees included leaders from within the Air Force community at Joint Base San Antonio, representatives from the Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG), and a variety of civic and business leaders from our surrounding communities.
Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, commander of Air Education and Training Command, announced the community of San Antonio as the winner of the 2016 Altus Trophy during a brief ceremony with AETC’s Civic Leader Group in March. “This is our way of recognizing the community’s impact and relationship with our bases in AETC,” Roberson said. “You’ll notice that it is the communities that were named, not the bases.” The trophy, which is presented in partnership with the Altus Chamber of Commerce, is given to the AETC community that provides the best support to its local military installation.
“This year there were seven applications, which were narrowed down by members of the Altus Military Affairs Committee to three finalists: Biloxi, Mississippi; Little Rock, Arkansas; and San Antonio, Texas,” said Joe Leverett, Altus Trophy Selection Committee chairman. The final decision was made by a panel of former AETC commanders. The community of San Antonio, which was also recognized this year as a Great American Defense Community by the Association of Defense Communities, took the top honor after partnering with military members at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Randolph, Fort Sam Houston, and Camp Bullis.
One area identified in the nomination application for the San Antonio community was the partnership formed to address water access. Expanding population raised concerns about maintaining sources of water for JBSA. AACOG teamed up with the City of San Antonio to secure $5 million from the State of Texas to address new water connections for Joint Base San Antonio. “We were able to partner with the community and with the state to put in place a process and a plan,” Roberson said. “We couldn’t have done it on our own.”
Expanding population results in another issue that was important to JBSA: encroachment.
The community provided continuous advocacy for solutions to encroachment at JBSA-Randolph, citing identification of mission-critical gaps where private and public business can support military installations. On Jan. 26, 2016, Bexar County unanimously passed a resolution giving its recommendations regarding encroachment. The application also identified that AACOG partnered with the City of San Antonio, JBSA and the Fort Sam Houston Independent School District (FSHISD) to supplement road construction. FSHISD will contribute $150,000 toward the design of a road that will serve as an emergency egress that will benefit JBSA members.
The trophy, which is substantial in size, will move throughout the Alamo Region and the city as a symbol of the community support provided to our military neighbors. “The trophy sits on a base that is a solid sheet of granite,” Leverett said. “This symbolizes the rock-solid support the communities give.”