TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Tampa Bay Defense Alliance (TBDA) President Donna Huneycutt and Airlift/Tanker Association (A/TA) Chairman Gen. Duncan J. McNabb, USAF (Ret) announced today Mr. Larry Wilson from Little Rock Air Force Base, AR as the winner of the 2022 Tampa Bay Trophy. The Tampa Bay Trophy recognizes a civic leader whose lifetime achievement and distinguished service to the United States Air Force and Air Mobility Command epitomizes the synergy between civilian and military communities.

Donna Huneycutt and Gen. McNabb will present Mr. Wilson with his citation at the 2022 Airlift Tanker Association Convention held at the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center, Aurora CO on October 28, 2022, in the Heritage Room at 9:00 PM (MST).

“This year highlights the power of great relationships between military bases and their surrounding communities as they come together during a time of great change and rebuilding. As always, the Tampa Bay Defense Alliance was impressed by and deeply grateful for the service and contributions of the outstanding nominees identified by their Air Force communities. We enjoyed the hard task of selecting a winner from these fantastic leaders who support military communities, personnel, and their families. We’re incredibly honored to recognize this year’s recipient, Mr. Larry Wilson, from Little Rock Air Force Base, for his outstanding leadership, stewardship, and devotion to his community,” said Huneycutt.

Wilson distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service to the Airmen and families of Little Rock Air Force Base, the Jacksonville community, the State of Arkansas, and to the United States Air Force. An acclaimed advocate for Jacksonville, Arkansas for over 40 years, his leadership strengthened the relationship between Little Rock AFB and the local community, enabling solutions that secured a 50-year base water system maintenance contract, as well as easements for mission critical drop zones. His education focus assisted Jacksonville school district improvements and helped gather local funding to pioneer a joint venture education center with LRAFB. Appointed by the governor to the state’s Military Affairs Council, he assisted efforts to make Arkansas one of four states to meet every Department of Defense military family support criterion and helped drive legislation providing active duty and retired pay income tax exemptions and exempting military spouses from onerous licensure rules. His leadership helped his community earn the 2009, 2011, and 2019 Abilene Trophies for Air Mobility Command’s best community support, Air Education and Training Command’s 2019 Altus Trophy, and the 2020 Great American Defense Community Award. He served as the 19th Airlift Wing Honorary Commander and was selected for the Air Mobility Command, Air Education Command and Air Combat Command Civic Leader Groups. His outstanding civic leadership enhanced our communities, improved quality of life for our Airmen and their families, and boosted the air mobility mission. Mr. Wilson truly championed Little Rock Air Force Base’s air mobility mission earning honor and recognition as the winner of the 2022 Airlift/Tanker Association Tampa Bay Trophy.

“Larry Wilson has dedicated countless years to helping Little Rock AFB,” said Colonel Angela Ochoa, 19th Airlift Wing commander. “I cannot think of a more deserving individual who exemplifies the partnership between our local community and base. His work has been vital to accomplishing our mission and cultivating resilient Airmen and families. We are extremely thankful and blessed to have Larry as a part of our family.”

“We are proud to partner with the Tampa Bay Defense Alliance as we honor our outstanding air mobility civic leaders each year with the Tampa Bay Trophy. Larry’s sustained leadership and engagement has made a huge difference for our Airmen, service members, veterans, and families in Arkansas. Especially in these uncertain and changing times, he steadfastly advocated for our Airmen and their families, the Air Mobility mission in Arkansas and blazed the trail to make his community, our Air Force, and our nation better,” said A/TA Chairman, Gen. (ret) Duncan McNabb.

About the Tampa Bay Trophy

The Tampa Bay Trophy was created in 2016 by the Tampa Bay Defense Alliance and honors a civilian each year for their distinguished service and contributions to our country’s Air Force servicemen and women. The Trophy, a one-of-a-kind bronze sculpture by Steve Dickey, Tampa’s unofficial sculptor laureate, highlights the true spirit of the Tampa Bay Community and recognizes the service of the patriots who receive the prestigious award.

About the Tampa Bay Defense Alliance

The Tampa Bay Defense Alliance (TBDA) was formed in 2012 to champion our defense community by connecting our civilians to our military. The TBDA represents an eight-county region covering Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Manatee, Hernando, and Citrus. Speaking as One Team with One Voice, TBDA collaborates and cooperates with our community partners on issues of importance to the defense and military communities in our region. The TBDA promotes a collaborative and engaging environment that vigorously supports a robust and growing defense community. United in actions, we are a forum of strategic thinkers that provide vital linkage to all organizations supporting our military personnel and their families.

About the Airlift Tankers Association

The Airlift/Tanker Association (A/TA) is the world’s premier professional non-profit association for the Air Mobility community embracing innovation, promoting operational excellence, raising awareness, and understanding of the value of global mobility. The A/TA works across the DOD and Air Mobility Enterprise promoting a deeper understanding, appreciation, and reinforcement of Air Mobility heritage, culture, values, and relationships.