AFA Announces 2018 National Award Winners

The Air Force Association (AFA) has announced the winners of its Lifetime Achievement, H.H. Arnold, Symington, John R. Alison, and Chairman’s Aerospace Education awards. All winners will be honored at the Air, Space & Cyber Conference on September 19, 2018 during the Air Force Birthday Dinner.

The AFA Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes groups or individuals for their lifetime of achievement in the advancement of aerospace power. This year’s recipients are:

Maj Gen Al Flowers, USAF Ret.

Maj Gen Flowers served more than 46 years on active duty, making him the longest-serving Airman in Air Force history.

Dan Friedkin

Mr. Friedkin is founder and chairman of the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation and one of ten civilian Heritage Flight pilots qualified to fly in formation with U.S. Air Force single‐ship demonstration teams.

U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board

Since its establishment in 1944 by General H.H. “Hap” Arnold, the USAF Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) has continuously served as the principal external advisory body to the Secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force Chief of Staff, and to other senior leaders in Headquarters Air Force and the Air Force Major Commands, for scientific and technical matters relating to the Air Force mission.

Air Force Enlisted Village

Since its incorporation in 1968, the Air Force Enlisted Village has provided a home for and financial assistance to widows of retired enlisted Air Force members.

Air Force Aid Society

The Air Force Aid Society’s mission is to support Airmen and enhance the Air Force mission by relieving emergency financial distress, helping Airmen and their families achieve their educational goals, and improving their quality of life through proactive programs.

The Henry “Hap” Arnold Award is awarded to the most significant contribution by a military member to national defense. This year’s winner is:

Gen Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, USAF Ret.

As the commander of Air Combat Command, Gen Carlisle was responsible for organizing, training, equipping, and maintaining combat-ready forces for rapid deployment and employment while ensuring strategic air defense forces were ready to meet the challenges of peacetime air sovereignty and wartime defense. Gen Carlisle retired in March 2017.

The W. Stuart Symington Award is presented to the most significant contribution by a civilian to national defense. This year’s winner is:

The 23rd Secretary of the Air Force, the Honorable Deborah Lee James

In her position, Secretary James was responsible for the affairs of the United States Department of the Air Force, including organizing, training, equipping, and providing for the welfare of more than 690,000 Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, and civilian Airmen and their families, as well as disbursing the Air Force’s annual budget ($139 billion in 2015).

The John R. Alison Award is presented to the most significant contribution by industry to national defense. The 2018 winner is:

Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works

Skunk Works is an official pseudonym for Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs. It is responsible for a number of aircraft designs, including the U-2, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.

The Chairman’s Aerospace Education Award is presented to an organization for its “special or sustained achievement in support of AFA’s education mission statements; namely, advocating for STEM education and/or supporting and promoting aerospace education.” The 2018 winner is:

Project Lead The Way

Project Lead the way is non-profit organization that focuses on unique and engaging learning experiences in STEM for K-12 students across the U.S. They provide pathways to computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. Project Lead The Way’s mission is to empower students to thrive in an evolving world. The organization has reached millions of students across 50 states and trained 55,000+ teachers for long-term success.

We are proud to present this year’s amazing winners and highlight all of their contributions to the United States Air Force and their commitment to national defense.

Learn more about AFA awards at