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Preserving History and Heritage

Each year AAFM contributes to the preservation of the missileer heritage and contributes to the missileer community through our grants and awards.

Missile Heritage Grant Program

AAFM provides funds each year to museums for missile displays. To date we have funded more than $305,000 in projects at more than 30 museums. We honor members who have passed away in the year before the grants are awarded by providing the grants in their memory.

Members - If you are aware of a museum with missile displays that is not on our mailing list for grant applications, let us know and we will add the museum.

Museums - We mail applications in October of each year. We recommend that you request grants in the $1,000 - $3,000 range, to allow us to fund several grants per year.  Specific instructions are included in the applications we mail to you each year. See the link below for a list of Grants AAFM has provided and members honored.

2023 Missile Heritage Grants

A committee of four board members, Bob Parker, Jock Dodson, Tony Bales and Mike Kenderes, reviewed three applications for 2023 grants. We funded 2 of the 3 grants for a total of $4,500.  The third application was rejected because the request supported an air-to-air system.

The 2023 projects we funded were:

Hill Aerospace Museum, $1,500 for developing graphics and interactive displays.

Museum of Aviation, $3,000 to repair and repaint the Matador TM-61A missile.

When you visit one of these museums, ensure you stop by and tell the leadership that you are an AAFM member and a supporter of our grant program. 

Members Honored

The 2023 grants were provided in memory of the members that passed away since our last grant cycle and are:

 Col (ret) Eduard Bender, CMSgt (ret) William E. Besecker Jr, MSgt (ret) Dayna Castro, Lt Col (ret) Timothy P. Christi, Maj (ret) Danny E Cochran, CMSgt (ret) Michael M Edson, Col (ret) Trevor Flint, Col (ret) Joseph C. Friedman, Col (ret) Robert W. Ginn, Col (ret) Harold C. Helt Jr., Lt Col (ret) Jack Kappeler, Col (ret) Darrell Marshall, SMSgt (ret) Max L Meyer, Lt Col (ret) Norman H. Monson, Col (ret) Ronald L. Nanning, MSgt (ret) Ronnie L Pope, Lt Col (ret) David E Ridenour, Lt Col (ret) Richard E. Schankel, Lt Col (ret) Anthony Spaduzzi, Capt Millard Stanley Jr., 1SG Kenneth Suffridge, and Maj (ret) Robert A Wyckoff.

For the list of grants and members honored to date, click here

General Samuel Phillips Award for Operations

AAFM Award Programs

General Samuel Phillips Award for Operations

Originally awarded annually by Air Force Space Command and now by Air Force Global Strike Command, to the outstanding missile operations squadron. General Phillips was a pioneer in intercontinental ballistic missile development.

The Colonel Edward Payne Award for Maintenance

Originally awarded annually by Air Force Space Command to the missile maintenance squadron that does the most to improve the quality of life for maintenance technicians. In 2008, AFSPC changed the award to a series of individual awards for outstanding maintenance personnel, and in 2009, the award was transitioned to the new Air Force Global Strike Command.

Colonel Payne, who passed away in 2010, served both at Vandenberg and Ellsworth as a missile maintenance squadron commander and Deputy Commander for Maintenance.

Mailing address:

P.O. Box 1767

Monument, CO 80132


The Association of Air Force Missileers

is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 

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