Mountain Home awarded $1 million for Air Force excellence

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
Air Force leaders honored Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, with the Commander in Chief's Annual Award for Installation Excellence at a ceremony May 3 in the Pentagon.

The annual award recognizes the Air Force base that stands out among all others in a variety of categories. Mountain Home AFB, home of the Gunfighters, beat out 85 other Air Force installations for the prestigious award.

The secretary of the Air Force and chief of staff of the Air Force made the presentation.

"This is a real treat for a Chief and a Secretary to get to do," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley. "To recognize excellence and outstanding work and be able to tie that to a base, population and community makes it real have really done us proud."

An inspection team visited each base to rate them against one another. Mountain Home stood out with improvement initiatives that included the base's $60 million Republic of Singapore Air Force facility bed down plan; a $1.3 million aircraft hangar high-expansion foam system to increased protection of the base's aircraft; construction of a $730,000 multi-use indoor running track without a military contract; and the youth center, which earned marks by other Air Force inspectors as 'best seen to date.'

Mountain Home also showcased a robust energy program where they installed new boilers in multiple facilities, which reduced heating costs by $1.2 million and later renegotiated natural gas rates, which slashed costs 24 percent, which saved the base $800, 000.

"This award validates the hard work, commitment and pride of all of our Gunfighters who work together to make Mountain Home the best base in the Air Force," said Col. Tony Rock, 366th Fighter Wing commander. "Words can't describe my pride in the team's continued commitment to excellence and high performance. I am simultaneously humbled and awed to be part of this team and lead our Gunfighters as we continue to prove we are the premier combat wing in the entire Air Force."

Excellent installations enable better mission performance and enhance the quality of life for military men and women and their families, the colonel added.

The other two finalists in the Air Force competition were Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., and Hurlburt Field Air Force Base, Fla. As the IEA winners, Mountain Home will receive $1 million to put toward further base improvement efforts.

(The 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs office contributed to this article.)