WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio –
An officer assigned to the Combined Force Space Component Command recently received a prestigious award that recognizes the most outstanding U.S. officer on exchange with the Royal Air Force.
Capt. Katie Broyles, an analysis branch chief in the CFSCC’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Directorate, was one of two officers recognized with the 2020 Royal Air Force Museum American Foundation Sword of Honor at a gala event June 2 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
British Consul General Alan Gogbashian conferred the Royal Air Force sword to Group Capt. Andrew Lloyd, a Royal Air Force officer who served on exchange as deputy director of logistics at the Air Force Sustainment Center. The U.S. Air Force Sword was presented to Broyles in recognition of her outstanding service while on exchange at RAF Wyton in Cambridgeshire, England.
“We get to recognize these officers for their contributions to each of our forces and our nations,” said Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr., Air Force Materiel Command commander, presiding officer at the event. “But, we also get to continue to celebrate the relationship with a great allied partner. This partnership goes back to World War I when we actually learned a lot from [the RAF] that helped shape many of the things we’ve worked to grow, develop and evolve today.”
Established in 2009 by the Royal Air Force Museum American Foundation, the award is presented annually to the RAF officer on exchange with the U.S. Air Force who contributed the most in the previous year to relations between the two nations and their respective air forces. In 2012, another sword was added to recognize the most outstanding U.S. officer on exchange with the RAF.
The original RAF sword, of which the recipient receives a miniature replica, resides in the British Embassy and bears the inscription from "The Star-Spangled Banner": “Oh, thus be it ever when freeman stall stand.” The U.S. Air Force counterpart is on display at the Pentagon and is inscribed with Winston Churchill’s quote, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
“This event serves to highlight the shared aviation heritage of the Royal Air Force and the United States Air Force by honoring the two top active-duty exchange officers from the U.S. and the U.K. whose contributions during 2020 most reflect the values that our veterans and the foundation, share: service, excellence, integrity and courage,” said retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Fred Roggero, RAF Museum American Foundation chairman. “[The recipients] personify the spirit and purpose of the exchange program and [have] strengthened the ties between our two nations and the shared role in building our allies’ strategic capacity.”
Leveraging experience gained through work in RAF life cycle sustainment program management, Lloyd developed and executed high-level strategic product support plans that helped to align systems development between the U.S. government, the Air Force and multiple nations. His efforts significantly assisted a more contemporary and global execution of systems development across multiple geographically separated locations.
“As an officer from the world’s oldest independent air force, serving as an exchange in the world’s most powerful air force, and at the birth place of aviation, it has been a privilege to work to build connections,” said Lloyd, who was based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, for the duration of his exchange.
Broyles was posted to RAF Wyton as the Apollo Flight Commander, 1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Squadron, from 2018-2020. During her tour, she collaborated closely with the U.S. Air Force’s 693rd ISR Group to establish the first Training and Standards Section at the 1st ISR Wing. She also developed a 10-year wing structure and development plan for the wing’s fusion capability, with her recommendations directly contributing to the final proposal delivered to the RAF Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance Force commander.
The award represents the ongoing strategic cooperation between the U.S. and Royal Air Force.
“We’re much stronger when partnering and working together,” Bunch said. “It’s a partnership and alliance that we need to continue to grow and celebrate.”