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Scott AFB honored for its long partnership with local community

  • Published
  • By Garen Vartanian

Scott Air Force Base has been a shining beacon of the metro-east for 100 years.

And the O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce has recognized the base’s profound contributions to the community, selecting Scott for the Spirit of the Chamber Award. The Chamber will present SAFB the award at the 41st annual Salute to Business Awards on April 19 at the Regency Conference Center, 400 Regency Park, O’Fallon. The Chamber and O’Fallon Progress co-host the event.

Col. Laura Lenderman, 375th Air Mobility Wing commander, is honored the Chamber selected SAFB, which is celebrating its Centennial in 2017.

Furthermore, she noted Scott’s success the past 100 years would not have been possible without the support of community organizations such as the O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber.

“Thank you to the O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce for recognizing Scott Air Force Base with the Spirit of the Chamber Award,” Lenderman said. “This award recognizes and highlights a century of service at Scott Air Force Base from our early beginnings in 1917 as a pilot training field to today’s current missions of enabling rapid global mobility and providing cyber capabilities for our nation.”

Overall, Scott has a storied and successful history both in the metro-east and nationally. According to a press release from the Chamber, SAFB is the fourth oldest continuously active base in the Air Force, with a history that reaches back to World War I. Scott Field started as a pilot training base, transitioned into lighter-than-air missions, and added a communications school mission during World War II. After the birth of the Air Force, Scott helped usher in the modern jet age, and has grown into the nation’s premier transportation and cyber hub for the Department of Defense.

Since Scott’s infancy, the surrounding communities have played an important role in SAFB’s success, and community relations remain strong 100 years later. Scott AFB is the largest employer in southern Illinois and the fourth largest employer in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Every year, the base injects over $3.5 billion dollars into the local economy and positively impacts over 13 counties in the surrounding areas.

From security forces and firefighters providing mutual aid in the community to medical residents saving lives in the local hospitals, to servicemen and women volunteering across the region, Scott personnel are passionate about making a positive difference and continuing to grow community partnerships.

The Chamber also noted the men and women serving at Scott are grateful to the surrounding communities, as they could not successfully accomplish the missions for the past 100 years or the next 100 years without their tremendous support. In turn, Lenderman praised the Chamber for its contributions to Scott.

“The chamber and its members are passionate advocates for Scott AFB,” Lenderman said. “They do so much for our servicemembers and their families including hosting the Annual Salute to Scott Picnic, making donations to the Airman’s Attic, participating in our awards programs, and promoting the employment of transitioning servicemembers, among many other initiatives. We appreciate the Chamber for including Scott in its annual Salute to Business Awards, and we are thrilled to honor Scott’s Centennial Celebration with our wonderful community partners.”