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Combat Art Articles

AFRC Office of Historical Services wins DAF-level award

  • Published

ROBINS AFB, Ga. – The Air Force Reserve Office of Historical Services (AFRC/HS) has won the 2024 Air Force Heritage Award for its contributions of original art and wide variety of heritage projects over the year. The award recognizes achievements by Department of the Air Force History and Museums Program personnel for their efforts to enhance comprehension and admiration for the Air Force, its historical legacy and accomplishments while fostering a sense of unity and pride.

“The AFRC History Office once again delivered unique and impactful contributions to the Total Force through its combat art and outreach initiatives,” said Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Pennington, Air Force Reserve Command deputy commander. “The combined result included a large-scale push to share information with leaders, Airmen and the public in ways that depict the value and commitment of the Air Force Reserve and the entire Department of the Air Force.”

Some of the work completed by the program in 2023 include a 38"x96" oil on linen painting titled “A Shared Foundation: Celebrating 75 Years of Air & Space Power” by Lt. Col. Warren Neary, which highlights more than 120 historically relevant aviation pioneers and critical weapon systems for the Department of the Air Force’s 75th Anniversary. This artwork was unveiled on Aug. 29, 2023, during a ceremony at the Pentagon, where it now hangs.

Neary, alongside 1st Lt. Kat Justen, AFRC/HS combat artist, and retired Master Sgt. Darby Perrin, also created and presented a four-panel painting display highlighting the valued contributions of AFR Airmen during Operations Allies Refuge and Allies Welcome to more than 17,000 attendees at the Air Force Association's Air, Space and Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.

Justen also created sculptures of Pararescueman Master Sgt. William Posch and Staff Sgt. Carl Enis, who were killed in action in Iraq in 2018. These sculptures are part of a planned series of works for placement in a sculpture park at AFRC’s new command headquarters to commemorate fallen and notable Airmen and inspire visitors for generations to come.

“It is with great pride that we recognize the hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence that your personnel have shown through their outstanding work and contributions to preserving our history, inspiring Airmen and improving combat capabilities,” said Dr. Bill Harris, Air Force History and Museums Program director. “I extend my heartfelt thanks to all the historians, curators and archivists for their hard work and my warmest congratulations to the award winners.”