A UH-60M Black Hawk descends on Camp Shelby Joint Force Training Center's Hagler Field Sept. 9, 2017. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army
The U.S. Army aviation training school is being recognized by the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) for achieving the “excellence” that’s right there in its name.
Later this month, the NAHF will bestow the Army Aviation Center of Excellence (USAACE) at Fort Rucker, Alabama, with the 2018 Spirit of Flight Award during the 56th Annual Enshrinement Dinner & Ceremony to be held in Washington, D.C., at the National Building Museum.
The Spirit of Flight Award, which has been awarded by the NAHF since 1981, is presented to organizations that serve a special need of the nation and set high standards for excellence in the utilization of aerospace assets.
“The USAACE indisputably sets the standard for Army Aviation around the world,” said NAHF Chairman Michael Quiello in a prepared statement. “From their early days with spotter aircraft to the critical use of versatile aircraft seen in use by the Army today, Army Aviation is a formidable opponent to those who threaten the American way of life.”
Past winners include the WWII-era “Flying Tigers,” Honor Flight, The Society of Experimental Test Pilots, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), the Nintey-Nines, The Apollo Program and Boeing.
“We have come a long way since June 6, 1942, when organic Army aviation was established in Army Ground Forces with a few Piper Cubs, to today with the Army Aviation Branch and USAACE having established itself as the preeminent Army aviation force in the world,” said former NAHF trustee, current president of the Army Aviation Association of America and retired Army Brig. Gen. Steve Mundt. “USAACE is tasked with training and maintaining this force with more pilots and aircraft than any other service in the DoD. There is no doubt this recognition is richly deserved”.