AWCM News & Update Page
Please check this page often for updates on the memorial project
(Music Courtesy the Air Force Band "Liberty Bell" 3:40 Min)
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.
Announcement from Frank Morgan posted 17 June 2016.
The CCLD (USAFA Center for Character and Leadership Development) portion of our class gift is now fully funded and no further donations can be accepted for the CCLD. However we still have a long way to go to fully fund our major gift, the Robin Olds Air Warrior Combat Memorial. Participation is strong but we still need your help. Please support this project with a donation as soon as possible. Thank you. Frank Morgan'71
Letter from Frank Morgan posted 11 November 2015
Update posted 1 September 2015
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 wise 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 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.