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Wings Over the Rockies

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September 4, 2020
Top Cover

Warthog Pilot Receives 2020 Jabara Award
This year's Col. James Jabara Award will be awarded to A-10C Thunderbolt II pilot Capt. Alexander Boules. Boules '15 deployed to Afghanistan in 2019 and took part in a heated nighttime airstrike to rescue Afghan special operators trapped by the Taliban. Boules flew into a battle zone peppered with flashes from rocket-propelled grenades fired by the Taliban.

  Jabara Award

Introducing Nova
On Sept. 3, the Air Force Academy announced that the Cadet Wing had voted on the name for the new mascot. The winning moniker? Nova. Just like her predecessor, Aurora, who served as mascot for nearly 23 years, Nova will interact with people at sporting venues and military and community events. Her acquisition was made possible by donors, especially the Class of 1995 and the Class of 2019 Spirit Mission Committee, through a crowdfunding campaign last fall. Watch video.


Ryan Ring Recovery
Call it a USAFA miracle, because there's no other way to describe it.


Progress to Renovate, Restore Cadet Chapel is Ongoing Today
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center is renovating an iconic Air Force symbol: the Cadet Chapel at the Air Force Academy. The $158 million project aims to fix structural damage to eliminate a longstanding leakage problem after years of ineffective smaller repair efforts.


Opportunity to Serve on the AOG Board
Your Association of Graduates will be filling five open positions on its Board of Directors. If you are interested in serving on the AOG Board, please go to usafa.org/election/candidate for a full list of commitments and to submit your nomination packet by Oct. 1, 2020. Director terms will begin in May 2021.


Distinguished Graduate Award Nomination Period Open
We are accepting nominations for the 2020 Distinguished Graduate Award. All nomination packages are due to the AOG no later than Oct. 1, 2020. For information on the award and the nominating process, please visit the AOG website.

7258' — Your Association at Work
Read the latest issue of the AOG's newsletter.

Air Force Academy Foundation

CARES Act Can Provide Additional Tax Deduction for Donations
The CARES Act, passed by Congress in March as a COVID-19 relief package, includes tax deduction incentives to help donors continue charitable giving. The act allows:

• Donors who do not itemize to claim a charitable deduction in addition to their standard deduction, for all donations to qualified charities, up to $300.
• Donors who itemize on their federal tax returns to deduct all qualifying 2020 charitable gifts, up to 100 percent of adjusted gross income.
RBC Wealth Management published a detailed description of the act and how it can affect charitable giving.


Record-breaking All Academy Challenge
During the seventh annual All-Academy Challenge, U.S. Air Force Academy graduates helped set several fundraising records tied to the event. The five-day fundraising competition among the five U.S. service academies challenges each to achieve the highest giving percentage among its graduate community. The 2020 event included at least four records for the supporters of the Air Force Academy:

• Number of donors during the challenge: 2,264
• Percentage of alumni participating: 4.7%
• Amount raised: $519,311
• Number of funds supported: 91

Grads in the News

Van Ovost Sworn in as AMC Boss, Becoming Military's Only Currently Serving Female Four Star
After 32 years in service, including flying 4,200 hours in more than 30 aircraft, and tours in both the Air and Joint Staff, Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost '88 on Aug. 20 became the Defense Department's only active four-star female general — the fifth in Air Force history.

  Van Ovost

'I'm Driven by Competition' — What It Takes to Become the Air Force's Top Fighter Pilot
It was a no-notice rapid deployment, a massive air and missile defense exercise in Europe this spring and ten years of hard work in the Air Force that helped Maj. Brady "Fuel" Augustin '09 earn the Lt. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault Award, which is widely understood to recognize the top fighter pilot in the service.


First Female General Officer Promotes, Transfers to Space Force
In a significant milestone for the nation's newest armed service, Lt. Gen. Nina Armagno '88 became the first female officer to promote to three-star general and transfer into the U.S. Space Force during a ceremony at the Pentagon on Aug. 17, 2020.


Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame Names Smolka to Class of 2020
For an otherwise unassuming guy, United States Air Force retired colonel and retired NASA test pilot James Smolka '72 has made a lot of noise. Smolka has been inducted into the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame as part of its class of 2020. He spent his career as a pilot testing and researching aircraft for NASA and the Air Force at speeds of up to 1,300 mph.


Former Linebacker Dexter Walker Plays Major Role in SpaceX Launch
Video: Former Air Force linebacker Dexter Walker '16 discusses his role in the successful SpaceX launch in 2020 and how his training at the Air Force Academy has put him on a path to great personal and professional success.


Former Air Force DB Zane Lewis Joins New York Jets
Although things didn't work out for him with the Arizona Cardinals, another NFL team is giving former Air Force cornerback Zane Lewis '20 a chance in the pros. Lewis was claimed off waivers by the New York Jets on Monday. The move by the Jets reunites Lewis with Chip Vaughn, who coached the Air Force secondary in 2018-2019.


AF Academy's Random Testing Program Passes 3,500 Tests, Key to Keeping COVID-19 Numbers Well Below 1%
The Air Force Academy continues to randomly select and test approximately 750 cadets, faculty and staff members per week for COVID-19, which has proven vital in helping keep positive cases well below 1% of cadets.

  Air Force

Air Force Academy Helping Agencies 'Connect to Protect' During Suicide Prevention Month
The Academy's violence prevention integrators connect cadets and service members to the base's support agencies, including the Peak Performance Center and chaplains at the base.

  Connect to Protect

25 Staff Sergeants at AF Academy Selected for Promotion to Technical Sergeant
Twenty-five staff sergeants at the U.S. Air Force Academy have been selected by the Air Force for promotion to technical sergeant.

From the Bleachers

Academy Seeks Athletic Hall of Fame Nominations
The Athletic Hall of Fame honors former intercollegiate athletes for significant achievements and contributions to their sports as cadets, as well as their achievements as leaders of character for the Air Force, the Department of Defense and the nation. Former athletic administrators, coaches and support staff are also eligible for extraordinary achievements.

  Air Force
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