Partnerships are key to supporting installations and communities near them, according to several recipients of the 2014 Defense Community Awards, which were presented at a special ceremony Thursday on Capitol Hill.
“Our families have made huge sacrifices and we must keep our promise to provide first-class housing and education for them,” Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), a recipient of the ADC Congressional Leadership Award, said in a press release. “The surrounding communities around the installations have continued to be supportive and have worked to protect the bases with initiatives like Fort Polk Progress and Barksdale Forward.”
Landrieu was one of five U.S. senators to speak to the audience of about 150 attendees, which included members of Congress, Pentagon VIPs, congressional staff, defense community leaders and industry representatives.
Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) also accepted Congressional Leadership awards. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) helped present the Installation Excellence Award to the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Ala.
One of two Military Leadership Awards was presented to Col. Kathryn Kolbe, commander of the 75th Air Base Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, for innovative installation-community collaboration.
“Especially during times of hardship, where fiscal austerity is a necessity for continuing our military operations and our resiliency is being tested, it is to the advantage of both our great nation and our defense, for entities like ADC to exist and promote synergy among the military, our local communities and the private sector,” Kolbe said at the ceremony.
The full list of honorees includes:
Congressional Leadership Award
- Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)
- Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)
- Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.)
- Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)
- Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.)
- Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.)
- Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.)
- Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas)
State Leadership Award
- Gov. Deval Patrick (D-Mass.)
Community Leadership Award
- Bruce E. Miller, Port San Antonio, Texas
Military Leadership Award
- Col. Kathryn Kolbe, Hill AFB, Utah
- Steve W. Zander, Air Force Community Partnership Initiative, Washington, D.C.
Base Redevelopment Excellence Award
- The Riverbank Industrial Complex at the former Riverbank Army Ammunition Plant, Riverbank, Calif.
Community or State Excellence Award
- Chesapeake Science & Security Corridor, Harford County, Md.
Installation Excellence Award
- U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence, Fort Rucker, Ala.