SECAF bestows highest AF public service award

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James presented the Air Force Distinguished Public Service Award to the Air Force Caucus co-chairs on Capitol Hill Dec. 6.<br /> <br /> The medal is awarded to individuals who made a profound contribution to the Air Force on the national level, and facilitated substantial progress to the Air Force mission. To receive this award, one’s accomplishments must be significant enough that other forms of recognition are deemed inadequate.<br /> <br /> “I am grateful for the outstanding support from our Air Force Caucus co-chairs,” James said. “The bipartisanship backing we received in support of the Air Force, its Airmen, and their families allow them to remain the best and ensure an enduring heritage and unlimited horizons for the United States Air Force.”<br /> <br /> <strong>Recipients:</strong><br /> Arkansas Sen. John Boozman supported the addition of a cyber training mission school at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. The first class graduation is scheduled for February 2017.<br /> <br /> Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown introduced legislation in the Veteran’s First Act to ensure Airmen –past, present and future – receive proper care and benefits.<br /> <br /> North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven introduced legislation that set up six remotely piloted vehicle test sites, including one at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota. <br /> <br /> Texas Rep. Sam Johnson was the driving force behind opening Plano’s Veterans Affairs Community-Based Outpatient Clinic. <br /> <br /> U.S. territory of Guam Rep. Madeleine Bordallo’s advocacy enabled the award of a $21 billion contract for development of the B-21 Raider.<br /> <br /> Montana Sen. Jon Tester was also a strong voice for UH-1N helicopter replacement, C-130 Hercules modernization, the Modular Airborne Firefighting System, and Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer.<br /> <br /> Massachusetts Rep. Niki Tsongas, a member of the Air Force Academy Board of Visitors, helped ensure cadets were given the resources and instruction to be future Air Force leaders. Her legislation expanded technological innovation initiatives, ensuring the Air Force maintains air superiority and global reach into the future.<br /> <br /> Ohio Rep. Michael Turner worked with fellow members of Congress to invest in Air Force mission sets and capabilities that provide America’s asymmetric advantage.  He was a key enabler of the Air Force acquisition community and focused legislative support for the National Air and Space Intelligence Center to ensure its continued strategic impact on the global mission.  <br /> <br /> <em>Editor’s Note: Sen. Tester will be recognized at a future date.</em>