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Little Rock AFB Community Council wins Abilene Trophy

The community council awards the Abilene Trophy at Little Rock AFB for the most supportive local installation.

The Abilene Chamber of Commerce officially awarded the Little Rock Air Force Base community council the Abilene Trophy at Little Rock AFB, Arkansas, May 14, 2019. The trophy is awarded to the Air Mobility Commands community that is most supportive of its local installation. The Little Rock AFB Community Council was presented with the award for the third time since 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Irvin)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- The Abilene Chamber of Commerce officially presented the Little Rock Air Force Base Community Council with the 2018 annual Air Mobility Command Community Support Award, known as the Abilene Trophy, at a ceremony on Little Rock AFB, May 14, 2019.

The Abilene Trophy was established in 1999 to recognize the community that best supports an Air Mobility Command base each calendar year. The Abilene Trophy was given to the Little Rock AFB Community Council as a way to feature the outstanding support they provide Airmen, their families and the combat airlift mission. 

“The support the surrounding communities give to our Airmen and their families is really incredible,” said Col. Gerald Donohue, 19th Airlift Wing commander. “What I think about as the installation commander is if I have to generate a force and send it overseas into conflict, I will have the power to get that done because of the effort this community council puts forward.”

Civic leaders worked closely with the base during a significant focus on returning to readiness throughout the year. Participating in and supporting such events as the Airlift/Tanker Association quarterly meeting, the second-annual C-130J fly-in, and advocating for critical issues important to Airmen and families, communities vigorously supported Airmen as they accomplished the mission.

“We’re here to serve the base as a whole,” said Annabelle M. Davis, Little Rock Air Force Base Community Council executive secretary. “This is just a testament to the communities’ support of the base that we are willing to step up and provide what they need.”

Some of the major accomplishments of the community council include securing a $330,000 grant for a cyber-security curriculum for Jacksonville High School, helping with a 50-year lease with City of Jacksonville Water Department to provide water and maintenance to Little Rock AFB, and donating nearly $100,000 for the 2018 Thunder Over the Rock Air and Space Show while providing over 600 volunteer hours.

“No matter what we face as a team, we know there is a community supporting us, rallying around our Airmen to make sure we have what we need in order to progress and defend our nation,” Donohue said.

This is the third time the Abilene Trophy has been awarded to the Little Rock AFB Community Council since 2009.