Salutes & Awards

April 12, 2012

D-M named best installation in the Air Force

355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Penetta announced D-M as the winner of the 2012 Commander in Chief’s Installation Excellence Award.

The CINC IE Award is a Department of Defense award given to the best installation in each military service annually along with a $1 million prize for quality of life improvements to the winning installations.

“I’m extremely proud of the 355th Fighter Wing and the entire Desert Lightning Team for earning this great honor,” said Col. John Cherrey, commander of the 355th Fighter Wing which operates and maintains Davis-Monthan. “This award is a resounding confirmation of our ongoing commitment to the care and development of Airmen and their families as a top priority at D-M.”

A team of judges visited the base Jan. 11-14 as the final step in choosing the winner amongst the finalists. Units from across the DLT showcased their innovation and good stewardship during this visit.

The award recognizes the outstanding and innovative efforts of the people who operate and maintain U.S. military installations. Excellent installations enable better mission performance and enhance the quality of life for military men and women and their families. Each winning installation succeeded in providing excellent working, housing and recreational conditions.

What will the DLT do with the cash prize from this award? Colonel Cherrey will solicit ideas from the base through a three step process.

First, each of the base’s 71 private organizations, which are registered with the 355th Force Support Squadron, will have the opportunity to nominate one quality of life initiative through their organization presidents. The presidents will be contacted by Lt. Col. Kjall Gopaul, 355th Mission Support Group deputy commander, to obtain their organization’s submission.

“The submissions will be screened for feasibility, legality, environmental supportability, compliance with funding regulations, etcetera,” Gopaul said.

Next, each submission will be rated on an objective “bang-for-the-buck” scale, Gopaul said. “Bang” is the number of unique users projected to take advantage of the initiative annually. For example, if the same 10 people use the initiative every single day all year, then the “bang” is 10. But if 492 different people use it annually, then the “bang” is 492. The “Buck” is the total cost for the initiative, Gopaul explained.

Thirdly, the base populace will then have the opportunity to vote for their top choices using an on-line Sharepoint survey. Voters will be able to see the “bang-for-the-buck” evaluation and select which initiatives they think the base should have. Eventually, the voting results will be provided to a board of the D-M’s senior leaders to formulate recommendations for the 355th FW commander.

Finally Colonel Cherrey will make a final decision by May 30.

“With our CINC IEA win, D-M is in a fortunate position few installations have,” Gopaul said. “The opportunity to bring about tremendous improvements to our quality of life is at hand. But success starts with initiative and good ideas, your ideas. Encourage your private organization to submit a quality of life idea and then vote. Be heard and be a part of the way ahead.”

Private organizations should contact the 355th FSS to verify that their president’s contact information is up to date before the nomination window closes on April 12 to ensure they get a nomination opportunity. The private organization point of contact is Ms. Campbell at 228-2124.




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(U.S. Air Force Photo by 2nd Lt. Lacey Roberts)

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