10/22/2012 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- One Air Education and Training Command installation won the highest command-level honor they can possibly receive -- two years in a row.
AETC Commander Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr. announced the 81st Training Wing at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., as the AETC winner of the Commander-In-Chief's Annual Award for Installation Excellence Monday.
"Keesler AFB represents the 'Best of the Best' in Air Education and Training Command and is truly deserving of this recognition," said Rice in a nomination letter to Headquarters Air Force. "Keesler's leaders and personnel have created an environment promoting innovation and pride in ownership to enhance base-level services, facilities, and quality-of-life."
A few examples of Keesler's efforts include expanding the recycling program, renovating dormitories, improving the medical evaluation board case completion time, and reducing errors in deployment out-processing by 20 percent, among a plethora of other achievements.
The Commander-in-Chief's Installation Excellence Award is a presidential award for exemplary support of Defense Department missions, and is the highest award a military installation can receive. The CINC's IEA was created in 1984.
The AETC winner was selected by a board of command senior leaders from many different career fields.
"Competition was tough this year with 10 (AETC) bases competing for this prestigious title and bragging rights," said Félix Colón, AETC's award program manager for CINC IEA and Civil Engineer Annual Awards. "Keesler AFB placed third last year at the Air Force-level competition with only two points separating them from the second place winner."
Luke and Sheppard AFBs came in second and third, respectively. Colón said the two bases actually tied for second so a tiebreaker had to be used to separate them. Luke AFB won the tiebreaker with more perfect scores than Keesler AFB.
(Courtesy Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs)