SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — The Airlift/Tanker Association recognized their Hall of Fame inductees from 2019 and 2020 during a ceremony June 8 at the Airlift Tanker Air Mobility Heritage Park here.
The honored inductees of 2019 are members of the Air Transportation Career Field or “Port Dawgs,” who are represented with a circular medallion. On behalf of all the past, present and future Port Dawgs, retired Chief Master Sgts. William Powell, David “Ike” Eisenhuth and Walter Decker, accepted the medallion placed within the park. The medallion read “Air Transportation Specialist: Port Dawgs. Air Mobility starts and ends on the ground.”
The 2020 inductee is Col. Lawrence “Rocky” Lane, who unveiled a bronze bust that is placed alongside the previous men and women inducted into the Airlift / Tanker Association Hall of Fame. He has been recognized as “DoD’s and the Air Force’s foremost anti-terrorism and force protection leader of his generation” largely because of his Phoenix Raven Program. His pedestal reads, “Colonel Lawrence Rocky Lane, a selfless and charismatic leader whose security and force protection initiatives prepare a Mobility Airman for the 21st Century.”
During his remarks, retired Gen. Charles T. Robertson, Jr., former commander of AMC and U.S. Transportation Command, recalled a time where air mobility played a key role in a speedy and complete evacuation out of South Yemen. The Airmen had two nights to evacuate personnel. On the first night, they were evacuated leaving behind much of the equipment that would need to be out by the next. In a last-minute effort, a few Port Dawgs were asked to come along and help. Since the Port Dawgs knew how to efficiently load cargo, mission success was attained.
Additional remarks were provided by retired Gen. Duncan J. McNabb, also a former commander of AMC and USTRANSCOM and currently the A/TA Chairman of the Board. He said that “their [port dawgs] actions equip our nations with the speed and flexibility necessary to make rapid global mobility a reality every day.”
Powell as an Airman 1st Class was solely responsible for all special handling cargo moving through the Hue Phu Bai airport in South Vietnam during 1969. He oversaw the movement of munitions, dangerous cargo and transport of all human remains. He managed the dignified transfer of the casualties from the battle at “Hamburger Hill.” Decker assisted the evacuation of Vietnamese refugees in 1975 with Operations Baby Lift and New Life. He manifested and loaded more than 130,000 displaced persons to safety. Eisenhuth was the first-ever enlisted “cargo bookie” responsible for managing airlift assets in support of two combatant command’s theater requirements. He moved emergency response personnel and equipment to help conduct search and rescue operations after the bombing of Pan American flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Individually, these men have exemplified leadership abilities as well as problem solving skills throughout their careers, and represent just a few of the many contributions and accomplishments for air mobility and transportation missions.
Col. “Rocky” Lane
According to the A/TA award write up, Lane is a “mustang” who served 10 years as an enlisted jet propulsion specialist and flight mechanic prior to being commissioned as an officer in 1975, and which included a tour in Vietnam where he was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. During his 39-year career, he developed a new security and force protection culture to cope with challenges of a post-9/11 world. His philosophy that “everyone is a defender” helped to
shape the Air Force’s anti-terrorism and force protection tactics, including the Phoenix Raven program.
The first class of Ravens graduated in 1997 alongside Lane earning him the lifelong nickname of Raven One.
“The program is designed to produce elite security defenders who possess physical, mental and psychological abilities and toughness to deal with any situation,” said McNabb. Today’s modern entrances and gates, standoff and aesthetically pleasing perimeter barriers, as well as base and flight line surveillance cameras and sensors were designed under his watch.
In addition, he shaped the first Threat Working Group, that brings together a cross-functional team of experts to assess threats to daily operations, and the Force Protection Resources Board, that provides leaders inputs on security, force protection requirements, priorities and sources of funding.
A/TA Hall of Fame: The Hall of Fame was founded to honor the men and women who have accomplished incredible acts in service of the United States Air Force as airlifters and tankers; they have all shown their ability to rise to the sense of duty and continuously push for innovation. For more details please visit www.atalink.org/hall-of-fame.