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Air Warrior Combat Memorial

United States Air Force B-52 Park

With a Monumental Bronze Sculpture of

 Brigadier General Robin Olds

 

To be dedicated October 2016 Homecoming.

By The USAF Academy Graduating Class of 1971 

 

Memorial Concept Design

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Robin Olds

Warrior Sculpture


       Attention in the Area:   The Air Warrior Combat Memorial has been approved. Ground breaking ceremony planned for 9AM 29 September 2016. Fund raising has  begun through the USAFA Endowment. Please support this important project and donate now. 

 

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.  

 

Background:

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 Development.

 

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 Combat Memorial.

Memorial Overview:

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 best site.

 

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 Michelle Johnson.

 

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.

 

  

Memorial Site: 

The 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 warriors.

 

 

Funding:

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 "Individual" 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 "Warrior Sculpture"

 

A  Pledge of support may be made at this Menu selection "Pledge / Contact"

 

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Contact:


"USAFA Class of 1971 AWCM"

c/o

USAFA Endowment

3116 Academy Drive

USAF Academy, Co 80840-4475

719-472-0300

 

 

First published to Web on 7 November 2012

Copyright USAFA class of 1971

 

Memorial Design

Home

News

Press Release

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Robin Olds

Warrior Sculpture