Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh recently named the Air National Guard as the next recipient of the Maj. Gen. Benjamin D. Foulois Memorial Award for the most exemplary flight safety record of Fiscal 2012, announced an Air Force official. Brig. Gen. Scott Williams, commander of the Air National Guard Readiness Center, accepted the award on behalf of the ANG, according to a Jan. 14 release. The Order of Daedalians, which presented the award, was formed in 1921 to honor the sacrifices made by the first American pilots. The Foulois award is given annually to an Air Force major command with the best flying safety record, states the release. Williams “wasn’t surprised at all” to hear the ANG had been awarded. “The past four years have been the safest in the Air National Guard’s history,” he said. The ANG accounts for 30 percent of the Air Force’s combat mission, including 12 unique missions with high mishap potential. The command did not have a single fighter Class-A mishap despite its 139,000 flight hours, states the release.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.