Air Warrior Combat Memorial
United States Air Force Academy
(Music Courtesy the Air Force Band "Air
Force Song" 2:22 Min)
Please read letter from 71 class president
Frank Morgan on the "News" page.
The AWCM has been officially approved by the USAFA
Superintendent, Lt General Michelle Johnson and the construction
project is being managed by the USAFA Facilities office under the
direction of the Academy architect. The Academy has
hired Architectural firm of HB&A and Landscape architectural firm
Thomas and Thomas to develop and oversee the design and to consult
with the with the class gift committee in a manner that best
utilizes the site while maintaining the spirit and elements of the
initial class concept.
At present time, 1 February 2017, the 60% design has been
completed and we are awaiting the final 90% design within the month.
Once all parties are in agreement, the blueprints will be developed
and the Facilities office will solicit construction bids from local
construction firms to build the hardscape and landscape. The
final design will also be forwarded to SECAF for final technical
approval. We anticipate a bid to be awarded by 1 May 2017 provided
adequate funds have been donated.
The class of 1971 was the 13th graduating
class from the United States Air Force Academy. Many of our
classmates participated in the war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. As
a class, and as individuals, we have a profound respect for the mission of the USAF,
which is "Fly, Fight, and Win," as well as a deep appreciation of
all warrior members of the USAF who have flown in harms way or
supported those who have flown in harms way. The
class also has a desire to support the development of the
academic and leadership programs of the Academy, specifically with
the soon to be built Center for Character and Leadership
During our 40th reunion in October of 2011,
the class of 1971 voted to create a significant class gift
which has two components. First is a donation
of funds for two breakout meeting rooms for the "Center for Character
and Leadership Development," CCLD. The second is to create a
sculptural memorial to
honor the spirit of the Air Warrior and those Academy Graduates who
have served as warriors. It has taken almost three years to
develop a memorial design, which we believe will nobly serve this purpose. This
web site is dedicated to the second gift component: the Air Warrior
Memorial Site Search:
For the past three years the Class gift steering
committee, headed by our President Frank Morgan, has been hard at work
on the memorial design, seeking official approval, and locating the
As many of you know, the first site we considered
was the Association of Graduates Heritage Trail. While we had
wide spread support, the main
obstacle was that the AOG Heritage Committee had a unwritten
policy which reserved honors on the Heritage Trail for USAFA
graduates only. With Robin Olds, a non grad, as part of our design, there
was some resistance. In December of 2012 we made a formal
appeal to the AOG board which was reluctantly disapproved by a
narrow margin. The basis of their disapproval was that
regardless of the written policy, the original intent of the classes
who donated to the Heritage Trail was to create a site for
grads only. After receiving a fair hearing, we gracefully
accepted that decision and agreed with the logic.
During that lively debate, we asked you to
write the AOG board and hundreds of emails were received in our
support from all classes. This incredible outpouring of support was
gratifying and critical to the overall success of this project.
In recognition of this powerful member mandate, the AOG board voted a
unanimous resolution to support our design with Robin Olds at
another location at the Academy, to be determined.
In January 2013, we then visited with
Superintendent Lt. General Michael Gould and his staff and briefed
him on the memorial and our desire to honor Robin Olds. At that time
we suggested placing the memorial in the center of the Air Gardens.
Although our meeting with General Gould was warm and receptive, the
Air Gardens did not prove to be a good choice for two reasons.
First is that only the Cadets would be able to view the memorial,
not the public. Second and most critical is that the Cadet area is on the
Colorado state and federal register of National Historic Places and
approval from these agencies might take many years and be beyond the
control of the Academy staff. With our desire to dedicate this
memorial on our 45th reunion, this option was not workable.
Following General Gould's advice and
encouragement, we enthusiastically accepted his offer of placing the
AWCM in the new "Heritage Park" to be constructed as part of the
Falcon stadium renovation. On 1 August 2013, we had received all AF
approvals. Unfortunately before we could finalize the design
the Stadium renovation project was reluctantly placed on indefinite
delay for budgetary restrictions by Superintendent Lt. General
In 2014, as an alternative, we were offered a site at the
Thunderbird overlook next to the airfield. After
submitting an updated design we received approval. Shortly
afterward, the Academy memorial board decided to relocate the
overlook aircraft to the B-52 park. This decision was motivated
by the increased security restrictions on base which places the
overlook inside the restricted area.
With the unwavering support of General Johnson and her staff, we
were offered a choice site at the B-52 park which we eagerly
accepted. Our proposal was officially approved in August of 2015.
approved site is in the B-52 Park located close to the North gate,
located several hundred feet to the East of the B-52. We have
been generously granted the entire traffic circle which is 132 feet
in diameter and 13,721 square feet of area with the provision that
we develop it into an AWCM park which will create an inviting
destination and inspirational experience for the visitor. This is
the single best location on the Academy for public exposure.
With recent security concerns, much of the base is off limits to the
public, even Doolittle hall on occasion.
The B-52 has long been the sole exhibit at this expansive,
beautiful, park like setting. The AWCM will be the second; and
as a memorial, it will provide the centerpiece for the park's new
theme of Air Combat. The AWCM will also serve as a catalyst
for more classes to develop the park. With the new visitors
center being developed close by, just outside the North gate, we
are convinced that this location will soon become a huge tourist
attraction and will create maximum exposure for our memorial.
The B-52 park master plan, developed at the Academy's architect
office, will add other
aircraft and memorials. The two aircraft at the "Thunderbird
Overlook" by the airfield, which is currently inside the security
perimeter, will soon be relocated to the B-52 park. Other plans include relocating the memorial
wall from the cemetery to this park.
We are honored and excited about this location
and consider it the very best and most visible site for our AWCM. We
are deeply grateful to Academy Superintendent Lt. General Michelle
Johnson for her warrior support of our project and her visionary
leadership in developing the B-52 park as a tribute to all air
The backbone of the fund raising effort will be
borne by donations from the Class of 1971. However, to reach our
goal, we are seeking donations from outside the class to help fund
the Air Warrior Combat Memorial. In addition to
donations , there may be opportunities for donor "recognition opportunities"
within the memorial. More information is
available from the USAFA Endowment Group. Those interested in
supporting this exciting project are respectfully requested to visit
the "Pledge / Contact" page.
A complete design
presentation of the Air Warrior Combat Memorial is located at this
menu selection "Memorial Design"
A detailed description
of the "Air Warrior" Sculpture is located at this menu selection
A Pledge of
support may be made at this Menu selection
"Pledge / Contact"