SUPPORTING MOBILITY AIRMEN
The Association supports mobility airmen through its many professional award and development programs. Here is an overview of the A/TA programs that recognize and develop skilled and respected Air Mobility professionals:
Professional Award Programs. A primary mechanism employed by A/TA to support mobility airmen is its professional recognition and award programs. Over the course of its history, the following programs have been implemented to recognize the accomplishments of currently serving airmen, units and members of the A/TA community:
- A/TA Young Leadership Awards. Presented annually to twelve individuals who have displayed performance excellence, outstanding professional skill, knowledge and leadership in fulfillment of their duties.
- Huyser Aircrew Awards. Presented annually to a wing/group level or below pilot, navigator, flight engineer, loadmaster, boom operator, flight attendant and airborne mission specialist for sustained excellence in airmanship.
- General P.K. Carlton Award for Valor. Identifies and recognizes an outstanding airlift or tanker aircrew or aircrew member for valor. Presented annually since 1995 to an individual who demonstrates courage, strength, determination, bravery and fearlessness during a combat, contingency or humanitarian mission.
- A/TA Colonel Gail Halvorsen Award. Identifies and recognizes an outstanding Air Transportation (2T2XX) individual annually for sustained excellence in aerial port operations.
- A/TA Specialized Mission Award. Identifies and recognizes an outstanding individual whose performance of duties in support of an aerial air mobility mission is exceptionally noteworthy during crises, contingencies or humanitarian airlift. This award is presented to career fields not covered by the Huyser Aircrew Award categories.
- A/TA General Ronald R. Fogleman ASAM Award. Presented annually to recognize the top graduate of the Advanced Studies of Air Mobility (ASAM) program, an Air Force-sponsored program taught at the USAF Air Expeditionary Center. The award recognizes excellence across a broad range of criteria, including peer review, leadership, written and oral presentation of research, academic performance and physical fitness.
- Key Spouse of the Year Award. Recognizes an Air Mobility Command key spouse who has diligently worked with unit leadership to plan, coordinate and execute the unit’s Key Spouse program. Selected by AMC leadership and presented at the A/TA annual convention.
- The A/TA President’s Award. Identifies and recognizes A/TA member-volunteers who have contributed immeasurably to the overall success of the Airlift/Tanker Association.
- Air Force Reserve Component (AFRC) Awards. The Major General Stanley F. Newman Award recognizes an outstanding Air National Guard wing or group, while the Lieutenant General James E. Sherrard III Award recognizes an outstanding Air Force Reserve wing or group.
Professional Development Programs. From educational support through grants and scholarships to convention and symposium activities, A/TA encourages the professional development of its members. Chapters represent the leading edge of the Association across the globe, plus A/TQ magazine and our social media presence offer additional opportunities for education and professional development. Here is an overview of A/TA’s professional development programs and activities:
- A/TA Enlisted Education Grant Program. Designed to help A/TA enlisted members achieve their educational goals, these $400 grants are available to Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve members pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees.
- A/TA Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings Scholarships. Evaluated on the basis of financial need, academic achievement, detachment commander endorsement, and the quality of an essay related to an air mobility topic.
- Annual Convention, Symposium and Technology Exposition. Attendees hear “State of the Force” presentations from key leaders and listen to war stories from the “old timers.” Multiple awards recognize individual and group accomplishments. Professional development of the force occurs from airman to 4-star general, with an extraordinary opportunity to meet, greet and share personally with people of all ranks and backgrounds. There is no other forum quite like it, nor a better place to connect, reconnect and celebrate the mission of air mobility.
- A/TA Chapter Operations. Provide local opportunities on a volunteer basis to promote Association activities and exercise leadership in 44 chapters at air mobility bases and operating locations worldwide.
- A/TQ Magazine. The quarterly journal of the Association provides the latest news on global air mobility operations, policy issues and other current events, plus leadership interviews and announcements.
Social Media Engagement. The Association now maintains a social media presence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. This allows us to engage in an active and open online dialogue, within which we share information internally and generate additional content for member education and public dissemination.
PRESERVING AIR MOBILITY CULTURE
From its inception in 1969, the preservation of air mobility culture has been a priority for the Association. From the first “reunion” to recurring annual conventions and local events, A/TA strives to preserve the mobility culture through the following activities and programs:
- Airlift/Tanker Hall of Fame. Established in 1989, this award identifies and recognizes an outstanding Airlift/Tanker individual or group whose sustained legacy of achievement distinguished themselves in outstanding performance to the Air Mobility mission. The Airlift/Tanker Memorial site at Scott Air Force Base now includes busts and plaques of all Airlift/Tanker Hall of Fame inductees, with 22 individuals recognized and 2 groups representing the Aeromedical Evacuation Legacy Team (2007) and Air Refueling Pioneers (2009).
- Airlift/Tanker History Book. In 1995, A/TA published an Airlift/Tanker history book, with biographical entries and experiences as related by A/TA members themselves, plus a history of the Association, a historical review of U.S. airlift and tanker forces, a membership roster and hundreds of rare photographs. Is it time for another in 2015, the year we intend to focus on preserving air mobility culture?
- Social Media. As strong advocates for air mobility, we can share stories and information through social media in a manner that supports the Association’s mission and keeps air mobility culture alive. More public awareness may be helpful in sustaining our membership, encouraging others to participate, and meeting our goals of supporting the air mobility mission.
- ATQ. The magazine is a repository of our heritage and the centerpiece of our evolving story, with historical articles and feature items related to mobility culture.
- Symposium Seminars. Some seminars are dedicated to heritage and heroes, with many opportunities to share “war stories” with and from everyone, young and old.
- A/TA Website. The Association’s website (www.atalink.org) is currently a repository for organizational information and past issues of A/TQ magazine. It could be expanded to include even more elements related to preserving air mobility culture.
ENHANCING RELATIONSHIPS AND STRENGTHENING OUR BONDS
Relationship building at both the personal and organizational level has always been at the core of Association activities. The following activities represent how A/TA strengthens the bonds of global air mobility:
- Convention Activities and Events. The annual conventions and symposiums are much like family reunions, as well as a place to nurture personal relationships and spur professional growth. The industry-focused Technology Exposition brings technology, organizations, and people together in a rich and educational exchange of information. Young Leader and unit reunions throughout the years have revived and maintained long-standing relationships.
- Member Recruiting, Retention and Chapter Activities. Since convention activities seem unlikely to surge our membership rosters as they have done in recent years, A/TA is adjusting its focus to member retention, increasing recruiting efforts at the chapter level, and encouraging more chapter-oriented activities. Increasing chapter vitality and membership, and therefore national membership, insures our long-term viability.
- Strengthening Industry Partnerships. America’s aerospace industry plays an integral role in providing air mobility technologies and capabilities, and A/TA’s industry partners play a vital role in assuring the success of the Association.
- Command and Unit Relationships. The Association maintains contact with active duty, Reserve and Guard commands and units throughout the world via chapter operations, Board liaisons or representatives, and direct communication with command leaders, with extensive coordination on awards and policies regarding participation in Association activities.