An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Belle-Scott: Celebrating 63 years of community friendship

  • Published
  • By Col. David Almand
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing commander
Tonight, we'll be celebrating 63 years of friendship between the Greater Scott community and Scott Air Force Base as our generous friends pay a special tribute to our servicemembers in an annual gala designed to thank them for their service.

More than 100 Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Coastguardsmen will join with business and community leaders for an evening of music, fine dining and recognition. This follows the tradition set so long ago from a committee whose goal was to foster communication and fellowship between the base and local civic leaders.

The committee, known as Belle-Scott, was originally established, in part, due to growing concerns by Scott Airmen who claimed they were treated unfairly by Belleville law enforcement officials and business owners. The committee sought to rectify the situation and today the Belle-Scott Committee continues to work on strengthening community ties with base personnel.

The first "GI Pal" dinner was held Nov. 29, 1950 at the Armed Forces Canteen in Belleville. It, too, was a premier gala event, and in following years included nationally known celebrities such as Debbie Reynolds and Vincent Price.

The Belle-Scott Committee provides unconditional support, friendship, and loyalty to Team Scott personnel and has done so for 63 years. It's the nation's oldest civic support group to a military installation. As a group, they organize and support a variety of programs and initiatives; all of which are targeted at helping Scott's servicemembers and their families.

The Belle-Scott Committee is also where the origins of the Scott Field Heritage Air Park Committee began. The committee has been instrumental in developing the project from concept design to reality and continues to be heavily involved in the completion of the project.

Besides working as a collective group to better Scott AFB and support its personnel and their families, many of the civilian Belle-Scott Committee members also lend their support through their professional positions and through their community organization memberships (e.g. Rotary Club, Optimists, Zonta, etc.)

I salute the men and women of the Belle-Scott Committee who've dedicated so many years in fostering this friendship with us and for hosting us in what was a wonderful evening of fellowship. Cathy and I are extremely grateful for what they--and all of our community partners--do for the wing, for Team Scott and for the United States of America.

It is also with Armed Forces Day--May 18th--in mind that I salute my fellow uniformed brothers and sisters and thank the American public for their steadfast support. Happy Armed Forces Day to all and thanks to all Team Scott personnel for your daily contributions!