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Ellsworth accepts the Dick Schram Memorial Community Relations Award

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Hannah Malone
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Members from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, attended the International Council of Air Shows awards banquet in Las Vegas, Nevada, Dec. 15.

Ellsworth took home the Dick Schram Memorial Community Relations Award for exhibiting excellence in the planning of an air show, which included community partners from across the Black Hills area.

“Winning this award is a true testament to the amazing team we had and is reflective of the strong partnership we have with our community,” said Lt. Col. Anthony Nishimura, the 2022 Ellsworth Air and Space Show - Raider Country Open House air show director. “Honestly, I was beyond excited when we were announced as the recipient of this award because all of those involved in this massive planning effort absolutely deserve this recognition.”

The Black Hills Military Advisory Coalition worked closely with airshow planners from the base to provide vehicle donations, fundraising, and donating items needed to support the 60,000 attendees over a two-day period.

Several months of planning went into the air show event. It was important to host the show this year, as Ellsworth celebrated its 80th anniversary, the 80th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid, the 75th anniversary of the Air Force and the 35th anniversary of the B-1B Lancer at Ellsworth AFB.

This was also the first air show after the base was named by the SECAF as the first installation to receive the newest bomber, the B-21 Raider. With these milestones in mind, the vision statement for the show was to deliver a multi-day, top-tier event focused on enhancing public awareness of military readiness, demonstrating weapon systems and capabilities, promoting positive community relations, showcasing Airmen and supporting Air Force recruiting and retention.

“This truly was an all-hands effort, and I am honored to have had the privilege to serve with this team,” said Nishimura. “The credit must absolutely go to these amazing team members both on the base side and the community side. It didn't set in until later that this isn't just an Air Force level award, this is a multi-service, international award.”