Capt. Frank Baumann, an instructor pilot with the 80th Flying Training Wing at Sheppard AFB, Tex., received the 2011 Koren Kolligian Jr. Trophy, the Air Force’s top flight safety award. Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz presented Baumann with the trophy during a June 27 ceremony at the Pentagon. The Air Force recognized Baumann for his ingenuity and bravery in recovering a T-6 Texan II after a severe flight-control malfunction during a flight from Sheppard in September 2011, according to a June 28 Air Force release. When his flight controls failed, Baumann verbally directed the student pilot in controlling the aircraft’s elevator, while Baumann manipulated its ailerons and rudders to enable a safe recovery and landing. “One of the reasons we are as effective an Air Force as we are is simply that our aviators are able to recognize a condition, use their training and skill to deal with it, and, most importantly, bring the aircrew home,” said Schwartz. Baumann credited all those who helped him that day, including his student, and his wingman.
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.