Travis Air Force Base officials learned this month that the base was runner-up in the Air Force’s 2014 Commander in Chief Installation Excellence Award competition.
This should not be cause for disappointment.
Travis was a finalist based on its selection as Air Mobility Command’s 2014 Commander in Chief Installation Award winner, which was announced last fall. The win at the Air Mobility Command level and the second-place finish at the Air Force level translate into a combined $700,000 that Travis can use to enhance quality-of-life programs at the local base.
Our Air Force base has a great deal going for it. It’s the West Coast hub for military transport and air refueling operations. It’s the workplace hub for some 7,000 active-duty personnel, 3,000 reservists, 1,900 civilian government workers and 1,300 other civilian and contract workers. The base faces potential cuts in manpower and operational scope as the Air Force downsizes along with the rest of the United States military, but Travis is positioned such that cuts here in Solano County may be blunted by the addition of new missions and new mission platforms in coming years.
That said, this is a competition where size really doesn’t matter. The awards, established in 1984, recognize outstanding efforts to maintain and operate Department of Defense installations and to recognize those that have done the best with their resources to support the mission. The awards encourage base leaders to promote innovative and creative ways to enhance base services, facilities and quality of life.
So small bases have a chance against larger installations such as Travis.
Col. Corey Martin, commander of the 60th Air Mobility Wing, praised airmen and civilian workers alike for their efforts to garner for Travis the Air Mobility Command award and to win recognition as one of the two best bases in the entire Air Force.
This is the second time that Travis finished as a runner-up at the Air Force level. The Fairfield-Suisun City base also came in second in 2011. We’re confident the third time will be the charm.