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LAFB earns top AETC award

By Mike Joseph | 37th Training Wing Public Affairs | Dec. 11, 2009

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — For the second consecutive year, Team Lackland's creative and innovate ways of enhancing base-level services, facilities and quality of life were recognized as the best in Air Education and Training Command.

Lackland's efforts earned the base AETC's Commander-in-Chief's Installation Excellence Award.

The base now competes at the Air Force level against other major command nominations for the ultimate prize: $1 million for first place and $500,000 for second place.

"The way we come together and cooperate among all the wings on base is noteworthy," said Lt. Col. Christopher Cozzi, 37th Operations Support Squadron commander and co-author of the 37th TRW nomination.

With about 200 items listed on the nomination form to AETC, Colonel Cozzi said the hard part was narrowing down a list of approximately 400 accomplishments.

"I think what really put us over the top is the customer service that we provide and the amount of (projects) we've done this year," he said.

Colonel Cozzi said he felt two keys to earning the award were support by the host 37th TRW to the 70-plus tenant units on base and servicing those customers.

Because of money generated by the economic stimulus act earlier this year, Colonel Cozzi said more base infrastructure projects than normal were completed, and the entire base benefited from those projects.

The Installation Selection Board will begin reviewing the submissions and make its selections after the first of the year. After choosing the top two, the board will make 11/2 -day visits to those two installations to determine the winner.

The award is judged in seven categories: improving work environment and physical plant; improving quality of life; enhancing work force productivity; in-creasing customer satisfaction and service; encouraging bottom-to-top communication; promoting unit cohesiveness and recognizing outstanding individual efforts; and promoting energy conservation and environmental safety.

"By (earning) the AETC nomination, Lackland has demonstrated we are the best in the MAJCOM using those criteria," said Colonel Cozzi. "The base consistently demonstrates cooperation and excellence among the host 37th TRW and the tenant wings."

According to AFI 36-2831, the award was established by President Ronald Reagan to recognize the outstanding efforts of the people who operate and maintain Department of Defense installations and who have done the best with their re-sources to support the mission.