The Nation's Capital Chapter of the Air Force Association this week presented U.S. Rep. John Spratt (D-SC) with the Distinguished American Award for "outstanding leadership in preserving and protecting the traditions and values of the United States of America."
The Distinguished American Award was created by the Nation's Capital Chapter of the Air Force Association in recognition of truly distinguished Americans whose leadership in national affairs has been instrumental in protecting the values and traditions of the United States.
The award was presented to Rep. Spratt at the City Tavern in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, July 27, 2010, by the Nation's Capital Chapter President Lt. Col. Curt Osterheld. Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, also attended the ceremony.
Osterheld said, "Congressman Spratt understands and supports the importance of Aerospace power and what it means to our Nation's defensive posture and offensive capabilities. The men and women gathered here tonight truly appreciate that Congressman John Spratt is one of their strongest supporters on Capitol Hill."
"I am humbled and deeply honored to receive this award," Spratt said. "Our Air Force is unmatched by any in the world, and it is essential to the security of our nation."
Spratt has shown his dedication to the Air Force over the years by continuously making Shaw Air Force Base near Sumter one of his top priorities. He has secured millions in funding for facilities at Shaw, helping Shaw not only survive five base closure rounds, but also expand, bringing jobs to the area. Over the next several years, Shaw will gain 1,400 civilian and military personnel and 3,500-4,000 family members from Fort McPherson, Georgia.
"Every year, Shaw pumps $400 million into Sumter 's economy, making Shaw an asset to our state as well as our nation," Spratt said. "I am committed to keeping Shaw open and seeing that the jobs it has created stay in South Carolina. That is my mission, so long as I serve in Congress."
Shaw has seen many rounds of improvements since Spratt has taken office, including: a physical training center - a facility the Base Commander called "mission essential", a new headquarters for 9th Air Force and a 20th Wing Command Center, new runways and aprons, a new control tower, a munitions storage facility, a security building, a fire training center, and a special operations center.
Topping it off -- a swap of land at Myrtle Beach AFB for 13,000 acres in Manchester State Forest. F-16s from Shaw are now barely wheels up before they are over the Poinsett Bombing and Gunnery Range, a state-of-the-art range, which is second to none on the Eastern seaboard.
These are some of the projects that Spratt has sponsored and worked through Congress to help upgrade Shaw:
* $3.3 million for a new security building
* $1.0 million for a outdoor recreational facility
* $1.8 million for a shoppette/car care center
* $2.7 million for a new control tower
* $2.7 million for a child development center
* $2.2 million for upgrading fuel storage tanks
* $700,000 for a fire training facility
* $3.0 million for a waste water treatment facility
* $464,000 for recreational cabins
* $5.7 million for dormitory alterations
* $4.4 million for improving enlisted personnel housing
* $580,000 for low-explosive munitions storage facility
* $6.5 million for a central administrative facility
* $2.0 million for a special operations center
* $2.1 million for a new tactical fighter wing headquarters
* $840,000 for floodlights for servicing aircraft at night
* $360,000 for heating and air conditioning system improvements
* $450,000 for a medical war reserve material facility
* $2.1 million to enlarge and renovate the Shaw gymnasium
* $2.3 million for continuing upgrades to the waste water treatment facility
* $8.8 million to improve three dorms for single enlisted personnel
* $6.0 million to build a new information warfare building
* $5.0 million for improved housing
* $2.0 million for a youth center addition
* $5.2 million to construct a new dining facility
* $5.8 million for a new education center
* $6.8 million for new aircraft maintenance facilities
* $8.5 million for a new Deployment Processing Center
* $3.4 million for new housing
* $2.5 million in new military hardware for Poinsett Range
* $3.7 million for a new library
* $3.3 million for a new sewer line
* $9.7 million for a new communications center for the 9th Air Force
* $6.3 million for a new underground munitions storage facility
* $9.3 million to expand the base by 46 acres
* $25 million to improve base facilities and ready Shaw for receiving the Third Army command
* $21 million to expand and modernize USAFCENT/9th US Air Force headquarters
* $9.9 million to refurbish and expand the physical fitness center to make room for the Third Army command