The City of Montgomery has for many years demonstrated strong support for the military and education at Maxwell Air Force Base. Recently, this netted the city the 2015 Altus Trophy -- a prestigious national honor awarded annually to recognize the Air Force community that provides the finest support to its Air Education Training Command (AETC) Unit -- which was presented to city officials Monday (April 11) at the Frank M. Johnson Jr Courthouse and Federal Building.

"Our District Court counts civic engagement as one of our most important public functions," said Chief Judge W. Keith Watkins. The opportunity to host the Chamber of Commerce, the Wright Flyers, and nine general officers of the United States Air Force and Air Force Reserve was happily undertaken by the Alabama Middle District.

That Monday evening Mayor Todd Strange, other elected officials, and members of the Chamber of Commerce joined ranking military leaders and Chief Judge W. Keith Watkins as the city received the award from Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, AETC Commander.

"This is a significant honor for our community," Strange said. "We win it together. We do not win it as a community with the absence of the base."

"There are a lot of bases, there are a lot of good airmen and there are a lot of good communities, what we are doing here today is honoring the best community relations team with our base in all of AETC," Roberson said. "You have been taking care of our families for a long, long time and we are so appreciative of that. There is no doubt when I hear you are the Best Hometown of the Air Force. The relationships and the effort that you put out to take care of not only American airmen, but international airmen and their families."

The presentation was made in our historic 2FMJ Courtroom, scene to many important --and somber-- trials and decisions. "Happy days in court are few and far between, but this was certainly one of them," said Chief Judge Watkins. "Montgomery and the River Region shone like the stars on the epaulettes of the nine general officers in attendance. The City and Mayor Strange, and the Chamber of Commerce are to be congratulated on this outstanding award."

The Montgomery Advertiser