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Regarding the CAF
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How the CAF put Midland inits rear-view mirror -MRT.com: Top Stories http://www.mrt.com/top _stories/article _b60cdSce-d3d2-ll e3-b69f-OO...
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How the CAF put Midland in its rear-view mirror
Posted: Sunday, May 4, 2014 4:26pm
Rachael GleasonI rgleason@mrt.comI
Proudly featuringthe historic Midland County Courthouse on itscolorful cover, afall 1990issueof the Commemorative Air Force's
official magazine reads "Midland, Texas: CAF hometown."
The "Dispatch" articledetails aleaseagreement signedJuly 4, 1990, between thecity of Midland andwhat was originallycalledthe
Confederate Air Force.
During aceremony that day, CAF founder LloydNolen described Midland as theperfect headquarters with itsfriendly people, good
flyingweather, climate, uncrowded skies and flat prairieland, airport and growth potential.
"Wewere lookingfor afriendly place towork and build--aplacethat will feel likehome to CAF volunteers," Nolen saidinthearticle.
"A place they will enjoy --and haveroomto fly,work and restore airplanes, aplacethat they will always want to come back to --again
and again."
Let by local banker andcivicleader Ed Jones, Midland evenoffered theCAF an $18millionproposal.
"Midland sees theCAF as anational treasure which shouldbenurtured and allowed to grow inasupportiveenvironment," Jones said.
"This isthereason wehavestructured ano-cost, no-risk proposal totheCAF and are already working onexpansion plans before the
initial phase has evenbegun."
But nowtheCAF --ledby President and CEO Stephan Brown --islookingto leaveMidlandinthedust.
Settinghis sightson asouth Dallasairport, Brown announced plans last week for a"world-class aviationattraction" featuring museum
exhibitry andworld's "preeminent" warbird air show at ayet-to-be-built CAF National Airbase.
Dallas ExecutiveAirport will alsopermanently house theonly-flyingB-29 Superfortress, "FiFi."
Midland Director of Airports MarvEsterly recently met withBrown about thefuture of theCAF on city-owned property, rented tothe
organization for only $1per year.
Making anumber of assurances over thepast year, Brown promised to maintainMidland's CAF attractions, includingtheannual AirSho
and accredited American Airpower Heritage Museum.
But last week Brown saidthe museum's prized WorldWar II noseart gallerywould haveto moveif stateRep. TomCraddick made good
onthreat towithholdmore than $300,000 instatefunds for themuseum.
"The nose art requires environmental controls - heating and cooling," Brown said. "Without thestatefunds, wewill haveno choice but
to movethem."
Worriedtheir prized 1942Armyjeep loaned to theCAF has leftthearea, aprominent Permian Basin familyisalso speaking out about the
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How the CAF put Midland in its rear-view mirror -MRT.com: Top Stories http://www.mrtcom/top_stories/article_b60cd8ce-d3d2-11e3-b69f-00 ...
CAF.
T.O. Midkiff saidheloaned the WorldWar II vehicleto theorganization sixmonths after itmoved toMidland fromthe SouthTexas
coastal city of Harlingen. After thewar ended, Midkiff's father picked up thejeep fromFort Worth, put thewheels on itandtowed it
back to Midlanddrivingonly 20 milesper hour.
"It has alotof sentimental value," he said. "It was goodshape --still running. I droveit35years."
After askingtheCAF about itslocation and condition, Midkiff saidhegot therunaround before finallybeingtoldthejeep was shipped to
theMidwest.
"It has changed hands so many times J can't keep upwiththem," he said, notingthecontract prevented thejeep fromlegallyleaving
Midland County.
Midkiff saidifhe can't get hisprized possession back, hewill talk to alawyer and filealawsuit.
"They havenot toldthetruth. They broke their contract. I want myjeep back," he said.
Abell-Hanger Foundation ExecutiveDirector David Smithfeels similar about financial commitments made tothe CAF over theyears.
The foundation donated $1milliontotheorganization, and Smithsaidhe feels likea"second-class citizen" with news of the CAF building
similar attractions inDallas.
"Webuilt themawonderful, top-class facility, gavethemamuseum, aheadquarters andwonderful flyingconditions," hesaidafter
Tuesday's announcement. "I don't know what more wecouldhavedone for them."
Still, Smithquestioned theCAF's abilityto raise$40millionfor thenewNational Airbase, sayingdonors look at the integrityof people
askingfor money.
He calledthedecisionto relocate headquarters a lossof "institutional memory."
"It doesn't seemconsistent withthevaluesthat were represented by that generation of people who flewthose air planes," Smithsaid.
Here's a brief history of the eAF:
--September 1961: Confederate Air Force formed
After Nolen purchased aP-51 Mustang in 1957, heand agroup of ex-service pilots looselyformed anorganization to share theexpense
of maintainingit.
Their missionbecame to saveall WorldWar Il-era aircraft, and by theend ofl961, theTexas nonprofit inSouthTexas had nineplanes in
itsfleet.
--April 1990: Midlandwins bid
Inaroom:filledwithremnants of wars past, Joeand VanMabee keep aframed copy ofa 1990Reporter-Telegram withabanner story
that reads: "Midland offer wins CAF: Ex-board member callsit 'greatest thingsinceoil.'"
The Mabees remember a"nasty battle" unfoldingbetween Midland and SanAntonio asthe CAF sought to growthe organization. Inthe
end, Midland's weather and debt-free proposal won themembership.
"It took thiscityto get behind it, andthey raised themoney and itwas alabor of love," saidVanMabee, notingittook $5, $10 and $20
donations, aswell asmillions, to growtheCAF at Midland International Airport. "Weworked too hard."
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How theCAF put Midland inits rear-view mirror -MRT.com: Top Stories http://www.mrt.comitop_stories/article_ b60cd8ce-dJd2-11 e3-b69f-00 ...
--January-July 2010: CAF removes 2museumboard members
The CAF changed itsname tothe Commemorative Air Force in2002, with Stephan Brown taking over as president and CEO in2007.
Three years later, theorganization made headlines after theCAF General Staff --or board of directors --votedto removetwo American
Airpower Heritage Musuem board members whileseeking executiveauthority over themuseum for Brown.
GrahamRobertson of Oklahoma Cityand FloydHoudashell of Mesa, Ariz., were replaced for "tryingtoreduce thenumber of general
staff members on themuseumpanel to fewer than their current majority of six," according to aprevious Reporter-Telegram article.
At thetime, museumboard member and former City Councilwoman LuAnnMorgan toldtheReporter-Telegram shewas "concerned that
mergingseparate corporations intoonewould cause usto losemajor funding."
MuseumExecutiveDirector Tami O'Bannion questioned theremoval inaJanuary 2010 article.
"I wasn't there because itwas doneinaclosed session, but inmy opinion itdidn't riseto thestandard of malfeasance," O'Bannion said
inthearticle. "Therewas adifference of opinion andtwo goodboard members were removed for not votinglikesomebody wanted them
to."
That summer, O'Bannion --whose efforts ledto museumaccreditation --stepped down as executive director.
--July-August 2013: StateRep. TomCraddick tellsboard to 'right theship'
After the CAF announced itsdecisionto relocate administrativeheadquarters alarger metropolitan area last May, Craddick called for the
CAF's board of directors to "right the ship."
"CAF made acommitment toMidland. They took money fromdifferent associations and foundations to stay inMidland," Craddick told
theReporter-Telegram last July. "I'm concerned about themoney, and I'm concerned about thembacking away fromcommitments they
made."
Inturn, Brown saidnot toworry.
"Wetook alotoftime and consideration inmakingthis move. The board of directors and I made sureany decision didnot impact the
population of thePermian Basin," he saidpreviously. "The money for themuseumhas always been and continues tobeutilizedfor
operation inMidland only."
But Craddick saidBrown was intotal denial.
"The board needs to get aholdof himand right the ship," he said. "If hewants to move, then hebetter pack up and move, and [theboard
better] findsomeone who iswillingto dothejob theway itneeds to be done."
Last August, Craddick also charged theCAF with breaking an agreement tohouse theB-29 Superfortress,"FiFi," inexchange for $4
millioninstateand federal transportation dollars after itspermanent home moved toCavanaugh Air MuseuminaDallas suburb.
Inreturn, Brown said"FiFi" must flyto fulfill itseducational mission, and at aCityCouncil meeting last September, hepromised to keep
the aircraft inMidlandthree times ayear.
"To impact themost Americans possible, itonly makes sense withhistorical artifacts such as flyingairplanes that they goon 'tour'
around thecountry," Brown saidpreviously. "Having a'home' or base of operations does not mean that itmust reside inthat place
forever, asthis would beadisservicetotheAmerican people."
But last week, the CAF saidthenewNational Airbase will betherightful homeof both "FiFi" andtheB-24 Liberator Diamond Lil.
--September 2013: City, CAP discuss commitments
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How theCAF put Midland inits rear-view mirror -MRT.com: Top Stories http://www.mrt.comltop_stories/article_b60cd8ce-d3d2-11e3-b69f-00 ...
The City Council decided last year to fundtheannual AirSho after the CAP officiallyagreed not todiminishitsMidlandpresence.
The city annually givesthe CAF $50,000 inhotel and motel tax revenue for theflag-shipevent. But thedecision torelocate headquarters
worried some council members, who asked Brown to appear before a September meeting.
Councilmen eventually votedto giveMayor WesPerry thepower to negotiate anagreement, which required theCAF to holditsannual
AirSho, maintainthe CAP museum, allowthe local HighSky Wing to operate thecomplex, accept payment of $710,650 instatefunds by
reimbursement insteadof one lumpsumand exhibit theB-29 Superfortress "FiFi" inMidlandthree times ayear.
BothPerry and Scott Dufford, councilman at large, calledthe agreement a"win-win" for all parties involvedat thetime.
Last week, Dufford saidMidland dideverythingit could do for theCAP.
"We've shownthe CAP all the lovewe can showthem," he said. "But they aregoingto loseatremendous amount of support fromthe
Midland-Odessa area if they upgrade facilitiestotheDallas Metroplex to thedetriment of what they do inMidland."
--November 2013: Brown gets hisvotes torelocate
Inorder to move, theCAF needed three-quarters of thegeneral membership toapprove an amendment givingtheGeneral Staff authority
tomake afinal selection. Last November, 75.1 percent vote infavor of the proposed amendment.
"Withthis amendment change theCAF Board of Directors can nownarrow itsselection and negotiatewiththepotential locations that
providethebest sitefor the futureCAF National Airbase" Brown saidat thetime.
--April 2014: Craddick callsfor statefunds, CAF chooses Dallas airport
StateRep. TomCraddick, who personally fought for more than $9millioninstatefundingover theyears for themuseum, last month
spoke out about adecision by theMidland Collegeboard of trustees torelease morethan $300,000 tothe organization.
The collegeisrequired by lawto disbursemoney to only entities withinitstaxingjurisdiction. Andwithplans for the CAF to relocate
headquarters, Craddick called intoquestion the legalityof an appropriation.
"There isagreat responsibility that comes with receivingtaxpayer dollars andtheCAF must demonstrate they are usingstatedollars in
accordance withthelaw," hestated inaletter to Texas Comptroller Susan Combs.
Without thefunds, Brown saidarare collectionof nose art can't stay inMidland.
Craddick hasn't commented, but last week saidhewas proud of Midland for supportingthe CAP for solong.
"Midland andthe statehad providedeverythingthe CAF needed to succeed as anational organization," he said. "That said, I wishthe
CAP headquarters well intheir relocation."
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Rep. TomCraddick Raises Concerns Over Funds Midland College Ap... http://www.permianbasin360.com/story/d/story/rep-tom-craddick-raise ...
Rep. Tom Craddick Raises Concerns
Over Funds Midland College Approved
ForCAF
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Midland, TX (Big 2 News) - The Commemorative Air Force is finding itself in controversy again.
Texas Representative Tom Craddick is raising concerns over funding the CAF receives for it's American Airpower
Heritage Museum.
"The local museum and the CAF are one. And so, there's a law that junior colleges cannot spend money outside their
taxing district," Craddick said.
According to Craddick, Midland College recently voted to distribute more than $300,000 dollars to the CAF's museum.
But he's concerned not all the funds will be used locally.
"For the past 14 years, the state funding we received has stayed here at the American Airpower Heritage Museum,
and the next two year appropriations we see will also stay right here in Midland in our museum," said Stephan Brown,
president and CEO of the CAF.
According to Brown, the money used to fund the museum comes from an appropriation from the Texas state budget.
The money comes through Midland College and is then distributed to the American Airpower Heritage Museum.
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Rep. TomCraddick Raises Concerns Over Funds Midland College Ap... http://www.permianbasin360.com!story/d/story/rep-tom-craddick-raise ...
"Both institutions do education and so it was set up that way 14 years ago by Representative Craddick so that's the
way he established it and that's the way it has remained so far."
In order to ensure all funds are used locally in Midland, Craddick has requested an audit.
"This is a politician who is unhappy with the CAF moving its headquarters," Brown said.
"For me, it's that I asked for the appropriation, it's in my district, it's state tax money, I wanna make sure it's being
spent right," Craddick said.
Brown says there is nothing to worry about since the American Airpower Heritage Museum and the CAF are two
separate corporations with separate finances and accounts.
"We've got 250 local members who do a great job and want to remain and these kind of political tactics are really
threatening our livelihood in Midland," said Brown.
Copyriiflt 2014 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All riiflts reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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9/29/20145:54 PM
CAF fight continues -News -Odessa
http://www.oaoa.com/news/artic1e_e77d3304-c67b-ll e3-b7c7-00 17a...
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CAF fight continues
State rep wants 2015 funds withheld
The international headquarters for the Commemorative Air Force have been in Midland since 1991.
BY J ON VANDERLAAN jvanderlaan@oaoa.com I Posted 5 months ago
Two days after Midland College trustees voted to distribute funds to the Commemorative Air Force,
State Rep. TomCraddick wrote to the state comptroller to halt funding for next fiscal year.
According to the letter, Craddick said the college's board disbursed $335,325 to the CAF for the 2014
fiscal year, which he said in the letter is wrong and poses legal problems.
The state legislature in 2013 appropriated more than $700,000 to be used for CAF educational
purposes, which is actually given to Midland College to be distributed once per year to the CAF.
Because the legislature meets every two years, the money is split into two payments, which have to be
Home Comments More New. Full Site
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CAF fight continues -News -Odessa http://www.oaoa.comlnews/article _e77d3304-c67b-11e3-b7c7 -0017a...
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Craddick said in his letter and in ; ! withheld in the 2015 fiscal year.
''The law is very specific that a junior college cannot spend money outside of its taxing jurisdiction,"
Craddick said.
But CAF President Steve Brown said Craddick is "bullying" the organization, and they are and have
always been in compliance with the rules attached to spending state appropriated money.
"He's calling for an audit, he's calling for the holding back of the second-year funds. We've been
operating the museum with his blessing and reviewing this with him every two years," Brown said. ''The
answer appears to be and has appeared to be all along that he's mad. And he's mad, frankly, that we
didn't yield to his pressure."
Brown said they have operated the same way for 14 years, and because the American Heritage
Airpower Museum and the CAF are separate entities, there is no mixing of funds. The fight stems over a
vote by the CAF membership to move the headquarters from Midland to a to-be-determined location as
part of a national airbase strategy.
Craddick and other Midland notables vocally opposed the move, with those such as David Smith from
the Abell-Hanger Foundation which gave $1 million when the CAF moved to Midland claiming that the
founders promised the move was permanent.
While in the past, Brown has not spoken much about Craddick's threats to hinder funding to the CAF,
he said he is now nervous because of the pressure Craddick is putting on Midland College.
"He's essentially put Midland College in the middle," Brown said. "Them being threatened by someone
in a powerful position puts them in a tough spot."
Craddick said it's the opposite, and that Brown is the one putting the college in a difficult spot by
threatening to sue.
Ralph Way, a trustee with the Midland College board, said the CAF did not threaten legal action but
mentioned that legal action was a possibility if the funds were not disbursed.
Way said he does not trust the CAF and believes they should not have given the money to the
organization.
Brown said he never threatened legal action but that he did mention to board members that the
museum would close within two months if the money was not given to them.
a<Contact J on Vanderlaan on twitter atA @OAcourts, on Facebook at OAJ on VanderlaanA or call 432-333-7763.
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Opinion: Should this community trust the CAF?
Tweet
8+1 0
pos,edThursday, April 17, 2014 6:53 pmjUpdated: 11:43 pm, Thu Apr 17,2014.
Midland Reporter-Telegram I
"I don t believe (the CAF) at all. ... There's a lot of people that have done a lotfor the CAF, and their vote to leave tells me they don t
care anything about us. "
-MC trustee Neil Florer
Florer was one offour Midland College board members who opposed releasing around $350,000 in state funds to the Commemorative
Air Force's American Airpower Heritage Museum. After months of withholding it, the board approved the release by a 5-4 vote.
And Florer voiced what many people in our community are thinking --with its preference to leave Midland and subsequent vote to
relocate its headquarters, the CAF has shown itself to be untrustworthy.
It is sad that the Midland College board was put in the position of having to allocate funds to the CAF. In our view, Stephan Brown, CAF's
president and CEO, again bullied a local board to get his way.
"The only way to close the museum is to withdraw state funds," Brown told the board. "You will cause us to cease operations within
months to the detriment of the community."
Brown, in speaking to the trustees Tuesday, had the gall to question the holding of funds without "official notification, comment or
rationale." Questioning the rationale of the Midland College board and its leaders? We should have expected as much at this point. The
board's decision came after months of meetings with legal advisers, Midland College President Steve Thomas said.
We side with Thomas on his decisions. We also agree with state Rep. Tom Craddick, who said the board vote was disappointing and
called for an audit to ensure the funds are used appropriately. Why an audit? Again, itjust seems hard for this community to trust Brown,
who turned his back on Midland after this community played such an integral role in the CAF becoming the organization it is today.
Yes, it's hard to accept. And, yes, the fight will go on.
The CAF has made an enemy of Craddick, who won't help bring that funding in the future. We can't blame him. Brown has said without
those funds, we can expect the CAF to pull its presence in a heartbeat and let the museum die, but the CAF can't be allowed to forever
hold the museum closing over the heads of this community.
At some point, Brown and the CAF will have their new home. The organization's Midland years might be worth noting in some form or
fashion, but as they make their way to their penthouse we don't expect many glances inthe rearview mirror. That would require CAF
officials to care.
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This has been painful for many inour community, but thankfully it will be over soon.
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Craddick calls for holding potential CAF funds, audit
State rep calls for audit after MC board votes to release first half
Posted Thursday, April 17, 2014 1:25pmI Updated: 7:53pm, Thu Apr 17, 2014.
By Rachae1GleasonI Rgleason@mrt.com I
A Wednesday letter to Texas Comptroller Susan Combs shows stateRep. TomCraddick calledfor $335,000 allocated tothe
Commemorative Air Force's American Airpower Heritage Museumto remain inthe statetreasury.
TheMidland Collegeboard of trustees, which isrequired by lawto disburse statemoney only to entitieswithinitstaxingjurisdiction,
votedTuesday ina5-4split decisionto release thefirst half of about $710,00 instatefunds.
Craddick calledfor thestateto keep thesecond half andperforman audit of theCAF, which votedlast year tomoveitsheadquarters
fromMidlandto alarger metropolitan area.
He also sent aletter totheMC board of trustees welcoming an independent audit of the statemoney.
Me President SteveThomas saidthe collegewants to support Craddick but first needs to determine whether ithas the authority to
performanaudit.
"If we do, wewill," Thomas said. "Weneed to make surewe can do that."
Craddick warned theCAF last year that relocating couldendanger state funding. Healsowarned MidlandCollegethat disbursingthe
money couldcall intoquestion the legalityof theappropriation, according to theletter.
CAF President and CEO Stephan Brown, who isalso chief executiveofthe museum, made assurances toMC trustees Tuesday that the
money would stay inMidland. He also saidpullingfundingwould leadtothemuseumceasing operations.
But Craddick isn't buyingit.
"The CAF has not demonstrated that thestatefundingwill be used solely inthejunior college's taxingjurisdiction and solely at the
museumfor educational purposes per legislativeintent and incompliance withstatelaw," he states intheletter. "There isgreat
responsibility that comes with receivingtaxpayer dollars andtheCAF must demonstrate they are usingstatedollars inaccordance with
the law."
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10f2 9/30/2014 12:05 PM
Q&A with Abell-Hanger Executive Direction David Smith about CAP ... http://www.mrt.com/business/article _21aa16d4-3223-11e3-bOfD-001 a...
( baCk)
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Q&A with Abell-Hanger Executive Direction
David Smith about CAF
Fromstaff reports I Posted 11 months ago
For Abell-Hanger Executive Director David Smith, the potential move of the Commemorative
Air Force headquarters is something he takes personally.
A self-described history buff, Smith knew the potential for CAF and was part of the group
which traveled down to Harlingen and presented the package that made Midland the CAF's
home for more than 20 years.
"(The move to Midland) made the CAF a legitimate organization and not a hobby club,"
Smith said.
He said the move to Midland and support given to the CAF also resulted in it being able to
attract other funding.
"We gave them their heart's desire, moved them out here with the great flying weather. They
have a big hangar and museum that does honor the message they wanted to deliver. To me
it should count for something."
The Reporter-Telegram recently sat down with Smith to talk about the possible departure of
the CAF's headquarters. Here's what he had to say.
Q: What about the idea that nothing changes if the headquarters moves?
What (CAF CEO Stephan Brown) said was they plan to create an airbase structure that
would renovate various wing locations to have aviation artifacts, interactive displays and an
annual show with one penultimate airbase where the headquarters would be located. I
thought that is what we gave them. I think they have that. I don't why they think they don't
have that.
I have a hard time understanding what they will get from the other eight locations that they
can't get here.
Q: Do you feel the headquarters leaving would have impact on what would remain?
If, in fact, the museum and hangar stay here, it would be good. But I have hard time truly
believing it. I guess I am a skeptic.
Q: Did CAF officials take it for granted that Midland would step in?
Home o Comments Full Site
10f2
9/30/201412:10 PM
Q&A with Abell-Hanger Executive Direction David Smith about CAP ... http://www.mrt.comlbusiness/article_21aa16d4-3223-11e3-bOfD-00la ...
penthouse, and they didn't take that opportunity to say we have supporters here.
The essence of my concerns is that we have done so much for them. I fail to understand the
rational is for why they want to make this move.
Q: Has this move been in the works for a while? Has this been a mission of (Stephan
Brown)?
I wouldn't know (Brown) if he walked in the door. He's never taken the time to come up here
and meet me.... This would be a good question for Steve Brown - what would (CAF
founder) Lloyd Nolen say about this?"
o
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9/30/201412:10 PM
TxDOT gives Commemerative Air Force $2.35-million grant -MRT.co... http://www.mrt.com/import/articie Jaa968d7 -6ed3-5781-9049-d75bb ...
35,000 visitors, Ricenoted, andtheOctober weekend AirSh02001 pulled in41,000 spectators.
The CM, which historically has been synonymous termed "Ghost Squadron" by itsmembers, has aworldwide membership of about
11,000, includingitsthousands of colonels who also dovolunteer work inrestoring, maintaining, repairing and flyingtheCM's vintage
aircraft. Inthe CAF squadron are 149aircraft fromthe 1939-1945 era. The "warbirds" includetrainers, fighters, bombers, transports and
liaisonaircraft
The primary objectives of the 1957-founded CAF includes:
nTorestore, maintain and fly WorldWar IT aircraft.
nTomaintain museumfacilitiesfor aircraft as atributeto thethousands of men andwomen who built, serviced and flewthe airplanes,
and
nToperpetuate inthememory and inthe hearts of all Americans thespirit inwhich these great airplanes were flown inthedefense of
this nation.
<> 20[4 MRT.com. All rights reserved TIm material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
TOWNNEWS
Online. Community. Ne w s..
Copyright 2014, MRT.com, Midland, 'IX Powered by Blox eMS fromTov.nNew.;.com.
" Ii A R S T newspapers
20f2
9/30/201412:11 PM
TxDOT gives Commemerative Air Force $2.35-million grant -MRT.co... http://www.mrt.comiimportiarticJe Jaa968d7 -6ed3-5781-9049-d7 5bb...
ROGERS
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TxDOT gives Commemerative Air Force $2.35-million grant
Posted Friday, February 1,2002 12:00am
Ed ToddI
CLICK HERE for more informationabout the grants announced yesterday.
Midland Reporter- Telegram
MIDLAND, TEXAS (MR1) -The Commemorate Air Force has been awarded a$2.35 milliongrant fromtheTexas Department of
Transportation to builda60,000 square foot hangar that will be atwinto theCAF'sexistinghangar at MidlandInternational Airport.
"Itwill beasignificantadditiontotheCAF facility,"CAF ExecutiveDirector Bob Ricesaidon Thursday. It will bea "museumand display
hangar" for restored WorldWar II aircraft and examples of thewar's ground transportation vehicles.
"Itwill enhance theCAF facilityhere to addtothe tourismappeal," Rice said. The "added tourist attraction ... will be important to our
community."
StateRep. TomCraddick of Midland isto head up apress conference at 10a.m. today inthedowntown Midland Chamber of Commerce
boardroomto detail thegrants.
TxDOT isawarding $1.5 millionfor aHistoric OldRankin Highway VIsitorsCenter to beoperated by theChamber. The center's artifacts
will salutethetransportation of goods and services over theyears.
TxDOT's $337,882 grant toMidlandwill befor ahike-biketrail.
The CAF'sexisting200-by-300-square-foot hangar was built "somewhere intheneighborhood of$l.5 million" in 1991-theyear the
1957-founded CAF moved itsinternational headquarters fromRebel FieldinHarlingen inSouthTexas toMidland and West Texas.
The CAF'soriginal name, Confederate Air Force, was changed to Commemorative Air Force by avoteof theCAF membership 2001.
Funds for the lO-year-old CAF hangar were "raisedby theCAF as part of themovehere ... through thegeneral donations of people in
thiscommunity," Ricenoted.
The new hangar, Ricenoted, "needs to highlighttheground-transportation effort in ... WorldWar II." Vehicles, such as the
then-ubiquitous four-wheel driveArmyjeep, the half-track and ambulance, will behangared there as "representative ofthe WorldWar II
era(vehicles) that were used to haul people and materieL"
"Alsointhehangar will betheB-29 (Superfortress) andtheB-24 (Liberator)," Ricenoted.
RicesaidtheCAF had applied for theTxDOT grant in 1999but was "not approved for theproject. Weappliedagain in2001, andwe
were approved for theproject."
Of itsappeal intherealmof tourism, the CAF'sAmerican Airpower Heritage Museumat Midland International Airport last year attracted
lof2
9/30/201412:11 PM
CAF close to reaching agreement with city of Midland -Odessa Americ... http://www.oaoa.com/news/local/article_ 491tb390-25ge-Ue3-8d67-0 ...
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CAFclose to reaching agreement
with city of Midland
Story Comments Print Font Size:
Tv..eet
Posted: Tuesday, Septel1i:J er24,201311:56 pm
By Rachael Gleason; Special to the Odessa American from the Midland Repoter
MIDLAND The Commemorative Air Force is one step closer to finalizing an agreement with the city for $50,000 in
hotel and motel tax revenue for this year's Airsho - but with a catch,
The City Council tacked on a list of terms preventing the organization - which announced this summer its intention to
relocate CAF headquarters to a larger metropolitan area - from diminishing its presence in Midland before
unanimously voting Tuesday to give Mayor Wes Perry the power to negotiate.
An early briefing session finally got all parties -- City Council members and staff, CAF officials and dissenting
members -- in the same room to discuss the organization's commitments to the region. After a vote, meeting and
private negotiations, the parties hammered out a preliminary agreement that CAF officials likely will accept by
Friday, according to CAF Museum Director Autumn Vest.
The terms differ slightly from what was discussed in the morning session but require the CAF to hold the annual
Airsho, maintain the CAF Museum, allow the local High Sky Wing to operate the complex, accept payment of
$710,650 in state funds by reimbursement instead of one lump sum and exhibit the B-29 Superfortress "Fifi" in
Midland three times a year.
Todav's EdiU
The CAF must repay the $50,000 -- which it accepts yearly from the city to market the annual Airsho -- if it does live
up to these expectations or diminishes local presence. This year's air show is Oct. 12-13.
"I feel really good about the agreement we reached with them. It's a win-win for our community," said Scott Dufford,
a councilman at large who at first worried about the city having to repay $2.3 million to the Texas Department of
Transportation if the CAF didn't use grant money as intended. "We don't want the CAF to expand at the expense of
(Midland's attractions) contracting. All we've done is memorialize the intent of the CAF and what they want to do."
CAF Executive Director Stephan Brown initially agreed to most terms, and at the end of the briefing session offered
part of the CAF's property, which it leases from the city for $1, for public access. He said the leased land could be
used for "benefit of the city and aviation airplane owners here looking for hangar space."
10f7 9129/20145:59 PM
CAF close toreaching agreement with city of Midland -Odessa Americ... btlp:llwww.oaoa.comlnews/local/article_ 491tb390-25ge-11e3-8d67-0 ...
Both Dufford and Perry, who said returning the land would allow the city to apply for funds to repair the tarmac in
front of the CAF, supported the idea.
"By having public access to that land, then we can have access to federal funds, and we can develop that property
for other hangar space," Dufford said after the meeting.
As for Fifi, which caused a clash when she arrived back in Midland in August for maintenance, Brown said the CAF
would "stay within the TxDOT agreement as we interpret it" by keeping the only flying B-29 bomber in Midland
three times a year -- during Airsho and in the fall and spring.
An initial term required the CAF to pay back any funds owed to TxDOT under a transportation enhancement project
if the CAF did meet requirements to properly house the aircraft.
Brown offered his objections.
"I don't think that is fair to ask the CAF to be held liable for $2 million to pay back when the city maintains the
asset," he said.
Outspoken state Rep. Tom Craddick said the CAF broke a commitment when it moved the permanent location of
"Fifi" to Cavanaugh Air Museum in Addison, a Dallas suburb.
"I think members of the public are well within their rights to question the current assurances that the proposed move
of CAF headquarters is in the community's best interests, especially given the overwhelming financial support that
Midland and the Permian Basin have provided the facility," he said in an August statement.
Brown countered that Fifi's rightful place is on tour as part of the CAF's flying museum.
"To impact the most Americans possible, it only makes sense with historical artifacts such as flying airplanes that
they go on 'tour' around the country," he said at the time.
A version of the agreement following afternoon negotiations does not require the CAF to pay funds for the project
as long as it receives state funding.
Dufford - who has been meeting with CAF officials, along with the mayor, councilmen, city attorney and manager
and airport director -- said the city doesn't know how TxDOT will interpret the language. He said the latest version
of the agreement likely protects the city from liability if the CAF keeps its assets -- airplanes and World War II
memorabilia - housed there.
Also at the meeting, City Council members quizzed Brown about the CAF's intentions:
J ohn J ames asked Brown to ensure the initial terms did not conflict with any other agreements with local or
state entities.
Both J erry Morales and Michael Trost commented on the CAF's conflict with member-volunteers.
"People put a lot of effort to bring the CAF to Midland," Trost said. "It's still a little bit of an insult."
J ohn Love III asked why the CAF couldn't keep the administrative offices and staff in Midland and questioned
how the move will impact the quality of Midland entities, to which Brown replied, "The quality of the museum will
stay the same because the museum staff will stay the same."
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9/29/20145:59 PM
CAF disagreement brings down two directors -MRT.com: Top Stories http://www.mrt.com/news/top _stories/article _6c92de45-7564-5181-b ...
mrt.s, tt~~~uNllRi;i:S6DOD~~.~....
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Texfrial.com I The Herrera Law Finn San Antonio TX
CAF disagreement brings down two directors
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Posted: Monday, January 18, 2010 12:00am
by Bob Campbell
MidlandReporter-TelegramI
An 18-month power strugglebetween theCommemorative Air Force and itsaffiliatedAmerican Air Power Heritage Museumhas
escalated intotheremoval of two museumboard members andthepossibilityof a legal fight.
According to participants onboth sides, thelabyrinthineconflict began when theCAF General Staff, or board of directors, sought
executiveauthority over themuseumfor CAF President-CEO Stephan Brown. Then, themuseumboard triedto reduce thenumber of
general staff members onthemuseumpanel to fewer than their current majority of six.
Bothattempts failedand Saturday at CAF headquarters north of MidlandInternational Airport, ninegeneral staff members toppled
GrahamRobertson of Oklahoma City and FloydHoudashell of Mesa, Ariz., fromboth boards, replacingthemwith Charles Hutchins of
LaMarque andRandy Wilsonof Midland.
Museumboard member LuAnnMorgan, aformer Midland city councilwoman, saidsheis"concerned that mergingseparate corporations
intoonewould cause usto losemajor funding.
"Weshouldbegoodstewards of donations tothemuseumand until I can get further information, I feel likeit'sbest to keep them
separate."
Morgan saidshereferred to theCAF'snon-compliance to her request for along-termplanjustifying areorganization that could result in
mixingmoney for theCAF's "flyingassets" and the "non-flyingassets" at themuseum.
"ThemainthingislegalityandI don't seehowyou can filter donations made tothemuseumand usethemtoward the flyingassets," she
said. "If I'mgoingto voteonhiringSteveas executivedirector of themuseum, I'dliketo havehisresume and know more about him."
MuseumExecutiveDirector Tami O'Banion saidsheis"familiar enough withtheCAF bylaws toknowthey includethespecific criteriaof
missingmeetings or malfeasance inofficefor removingmembers fromthegeneral staff.
"I wasn't there because it was done inaclosed session, but inmy opinionit didn't risetothe standard of malfeasance," O'Banion said.
100
9/30/201412:13 PM
CAF disagreement brings down two directors -MRT.com: Top Stories http://www.mrt.com/news/top _stories/article _6c92de45-7564-5181-b ...
"Therewas adifference of opinionand two goodboard members were removed for not votinglikesomebody wanted themto. Tome,
that doesn't make agoodboard member."
ShesaidtheCAF board "istryingto imposemore control over themuseumthan ithas ever had sincethecreation of themuseum(28
years ago).
"Themuseumboard gavethemevery opportunity to explain, but thevotefailedtwice inarow last February andJune because nobody
explained why. A lot of people out there want to boil it down to themoney, but I clingtothehope that good men can still make good
decisions."
Brown saidtheruckus has itsorigininthe late 1980s, when theCAF dividedinto separate entities but required amajority of themuseum's
11board members to befromthegeneral staff. "Thegeneral staff took back control and maintained the status quo when they became
concerned that thetwo members and others had attempted to change thebylaws regarding changingthemembership to lessthan a
majority," hesaid.
"Itwas always intended andhad always been afact that thegeneral staff would control themuseum."
When asked if thedispute isfmancial innature, Brown said, "No, it isn't.
"Infact, theCAF givesasignificant amount of fundstothe museumeach year."
Assertingthere isnothingtoreports the CAF might leavethePermian Basin, Brown said, "It'salways regrettable when an internal matter
gets brought forward asbeing improper.
"What I'mafraid of isfear tactics withrumors about locationand money."
MuseumBoard President and general staff member Gordon Stevensonof Dallas respects thepositiontheCAF board took but strongly
disagrees with itsdecision. "After discussions withmy board, wehavecontacted legal counsel to seewhat our options are," the former
CAF chief of staff said.
"Welook at themuseumas aseparate (non-profit) 501C-3 entrusted withthe care of non-flyingartifacts owned by thepeople of Texas
andtheU.S.," said Stevenson. "Wehavesuch awonderful relationshipwiththepeople of Midland and Odessa andwiththestatethat our
goal isto ensurewe don'tjeopardize any of thegoodwill wehavedeveloped over theyears.
"Thishas been adifficulttwo years, culminatingintheevents of Graham's andFloyd's beingasked to step down. Youcannot findfiner
individualswithmore integrity and I findit extremely disappointingthegeneral staff took theaction they did."
A CAF spokeswoman saidboard members who took part were Chief of Staff Mark Novak of Dawson, Neb., Bill Coombes of Midland,
Neils Agather of Dallas, SteveBarber of Camarillo, Calif., Charles Woodof Seagoville, TomRush of Oklahoma City, TedShort of North
RichlandHills, KeithWoodof Locust Grove, Ga., and Clay Lacy, who votedby conference call fromVanNuys, Calif.
Bob Campbell can bereached at campbell@mrt.com.
Commemorative Air Force: A nonprofit educational association which collects, restores and fliesvintagehistorical aircraft.
American Air Power Heritage Museum: A nonprofit organization devoted to collectingand displayingrecords, photos and historical
volumes related toAmerican military aircraft.
C) 2014 MRT.com. AD rights reserved. This material may not be pcblsbed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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20f3 9/30/201412:13 PM
Dallas Selected for CAF National Airbase Location http://www.prweb.comireleases/2014/04/prwebl1797828.htm
@e~~~.Q
Front Page I Arts I Business I Education I Environment I Government I Industry
Monday, September 29,2014
Dallas Selected for CAF National Airbase Location
The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) has today announced its selection of Dallas
Executive Airport as the location for their CAF National Airbase and corporate
headquarters.
Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) April 29, 2014
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This
The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) has today
announced its selection of Dallas Executive Airport as
the location for their CAF National Airbase and
corporate headquarters.
"After an intensive one-year nationwide search, which
began with 23 cities and narrowed to six then three
finalists, we are proud to announce that the CAF Board
of Directors has selected Dallas Executive Airport as
the location to build our National Airbase," said
Stephan C. Brown, President and CEO.
According to Neils Agather, CAF Chairman of the
Board, "From the start, the CAF Board of Directors laid
out disciplined criteria for the location, such as having
an airport large enough to operate our aircraft and
airshow, being part of a large metropolitan area, having
interstate access, and so on. We unanimously found
Dallas Executive to be the best fit with our needs."
The CAF will move a few initial staff in 2014, with the
full operations of its Headquarters arriving in Dallas by
the end of 2015. "We also have the goal of constructing
a world-class aviation visitor attraction, unlike any other
in the United States," said Brown. "It will educate and
entertain young and old alike using the very best of
modern display techniques, including interactive
displays, 40 movie experiences and hyper-realistic flight simulators. We will also be using the most interactive assets
we have - the largest fleet of flying vintage military aircraft in the world. And to that end, we are announcing our plans
to raise the funds necessary to build this facility, initially estimated at $40 million."
"This will be a major tourism and educational asset for the City of Dallas: said Adam Smith, CAF Executive Vice
President and National Airbase Project Leader. "We have a unique opportunity at this location to inspire hundreds of
thousands of children and adults with some incredible airplanes and also to share the important stories the aircraft
carry, of human endeavor and sacrifice in the name of freedom."
"I can see yellow school busses dropping our children off to learn history through the sights, sounds and smells of real
aircraft, not just a computer screen: Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Tennell Atkins echoed. "Seeing these aircraft fly makes
history real. I am especially excited about the CAF's 'Rise Above' initiative which uses a Red Tail P-51 Mustang and
the lessons of the Tuskegee Airmen to show our youth that if these brave men could 'rise above' their circumstances
of discrimination to fight for their country, then they too can rise above their own circumstances to succeed."
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings led the pursuit of the CAF and his team worked closely with the CAF and its consultant
J ones Lange LaSalle over the past year to agree to terms and find the right location on the airport.
"1 told the CAF folks from the start that Dallas was the only clear choice for their National Airbase. I am excited they
agreed and look forward to their role in helping our city grow south: Mayor Rawlings said. "The CAF will be a
10f3
I Lifestyle I s
~ RSS I E-mail Ne'
Contact
Amy Lauria
Commemorative J
+1 (651) 373-118
Email
Stephan C. Bro~
(850) 978-2736
Email
9/29120145:54 PM
Dallas Selected for CAF National Airbase Location http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/04/prweb11797828.htm
welcome addition to the museum and educational community here in Dallas, and it will provide cultural and
recreational activities for residents and visitors alike."
Along with the planned year-round public attraction, the CAF plans to hold up to three major events per year; including
an annual World War II airshow. CAF's 164 aircraft nationwide perform in over three hundred air shows per year, nine
of which the organization produces itself.
"Our goal is to make the Dallas airshow the preeminent 'Warbird' airshow in the nation," said Brown. "We plan to bring
in aircraft and re-enactors from all over the country so the community can enjoy a family event unlike any other."
CAF's National Airbase will become the permanent home to the world's only flying B-29 Superfortess FIFI and the
B-24 Liberator Diamond Lil one of only two left flying. Other exciting fighters, cargo and transport aircraft will also
make Dallas Executive their home. On display at the press conference were the B-29, B-24, P-51 C Tuskegee Airmen,
B-17 Texas Raiders, A-26 Invader, C-45 Bucket of Bolts, R4D Ready for Duty, P-40 as well as several other WWII
warbirds.
The CAF reached initial terms with the City's Economic Development and Aviation Departments in early April and the
City Council's consideration of a proposed lease and associated financial arrangements will take place in the near
future.
In 1957, a small group of ex-service pilots pooled their money to purchase a P-51 Mustang, beginning what is now
called the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). With the addition of a pair of F8F Bearcats, the CAF became the founders
of the Warbird Movement, an effort to preserve and honor our military aviation history with the rallying cry "Keep 'Em
Flying!" Now, nearly 60 years later, the CAF operates 164 flyable vintage aircraft for the education and enjoyment of
present and future generations. A non-profit educational association, the CAF has more than 10,000 members and its
fleet of historic aircraft is distributed among 83 units located in 25 states for care and operation. For more information,
visit http://www.commemorativeairforce.org or call (432) 563-1000.
CAF President and CEO Stephan C. Brown (sbrown(at)cafhq(dot)org ) is available for interviews.
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9/29/20145:54 PM
CAF: No state funding could mean nose artleaves Midland -MRT.com: ... http://www.mrt.com/top_stories/article _166ec28a-d 190-11e3-ac8a-00 ...
CAF: No state funding could mean nose art leaves Midland
Posted Thursday, May 1,20147:21 pmI Updated: 7:27pm, Thu May 1,2014.
Rachael Gleason
rgleason@mrt.comI
A rare collectionof WorldWar II aircraft noseart could leaveMidland if the Commemorative Air Force's American Airpower Heritage
Museum loses itsstatefunding.
CAF President and CEO Stephan Brown confirmed Thursday eveningthat alossof morethan $300,000 instatefunds- half of what the
museumtypically receives every twoyears - puts thecollectionat risk.
"The nose art requires environmental controls - heating and cooling," Brown said. "Without thestatefunds, wewill haveno choice but
to movethem."
With34panels, Midland's museumhas the largest authentic collectionof nose art, which was cut fromWorldWar II airplanes after the
war. The museumestimates 90percent of theaircraft sent overseas featured cartoon figures or naked women, which museumstaff
members affectionately call "the girls."
HighSky Wingmember Bill Coombes saidtheart comforted crewmembers instressful times.
"What areyou fightingfor?" he asked beforepointingout theimages on atour ofthe collectionlast year.
Coombes calledthenose art pieces, which were put onpanels for easy maneuvering and maintenance, the "crown jewel ofthe
collection."
But without the statefunds, Brown saidtheCAF would haveto movethemto another facilityor storage. The military aviationhistory
organization this week chose Dallas ExecutiveAirport asthenew home of itscorporate headquarters, CAF National Airbase andB-29
Superfortress, "FiFi."
"The statefunds are adifficultamount to replace," saidBrown, notingtheCAF contributes $200,000 ontop of themore than $700,000
awarded tothe museumeach two years by the state.
After theMidlandCollegeboard of trustees voted last month to release the firsthalf offunds, stateRep. TomCraddick threatened to
withhold thesecond.
Questioningthe legalityof theappropriation, Craddick saidtaxpayer dollars come withgreat responsibility and asked Texas Comptroller
Susan Combs to keep themore than $300,000 inthe statetreasury.
02014 MRT.cOIlL AD rights reserved This material may not be pcblisbed, broadcast, rewriUcn or rcdstribcted
10f2
9/30/201412:14 PM
Editorial: City, state should still hold CAF accountable ifheadquarters ... http://www.mrt.com/top _stories/article _f93ebale-ea75-11e2-afaa-00 1...
Editorial: City, state should still hold CAF accountable if headquarters move
Posted Thursday, July 11,2013 5:03pm
MidlandReporter-TelegramI
Laurels
- For the Permian Basin Area Foundation. Wewere pleasantly surprised tohear thePermian BasinArea Foundation awarded more
than $850,000 to 37 area nonprofit agencies, includingCASA of West Texas, SafePlace ofthe Permian Basin, Midland College
Foundation and Midland TeenCourt.
The amount, thePBAF said, was nearly $300,000 more than the foundation grants distributed inDecember. Guy McCrary, foundation
president and CEO, saidthis week that the amount was "one of our largest cycles of awards."
The foundation reports awarding nearly $50millioningrants and scholarships sinceitsinception two decades ago.
That's thegivingspiritwe appreciate.
- For baseball teams making state tournament. AreMidland schoolswell-stocked with baseball talent for thenext fewyears? Ifthe
performances of Midland teams at theLittleLeague sectional tournaments are any indication, then the answer isyes. As of Thursday
night, twoNorthern teams won sectional titlestomake ittothe statetournament and aMid-City teamwas playingfor aspot inthe state
tournament. Wecongratulate these kids andtheir coaches for an outstanding effort, andwe will becheering onour Midlandboys asthey
attempt to bringhome statetitles.
- For the life of Waiter Royall Davis. According to anobituary intheAustinAmerican-Statesman, theman who created Permian Oil
Co., died inMay at theageof 88. Davis, according tothereport, grew Permian Oil Co. to betheworld's largest independent petroleum
transport company. Later, hemerged Permian with Occidental Petroleum, oneofthe nation's largest oil-related businesses.
Davis alsoprovidedfinancial aidtocollegestudents, ultimately creating scholarships for more than 1,300students, according tothe
report.
Arrow
- For the CAF moving its headquarters out of Midland. Weget theideathat theCommemorative Air Force wants alarger
metropolitan area to call home. It doesn't mean wehaveto likeit.
Wehope local and stateleaders make surethe CAF fulfillsitscommitments to thePermian Basin andholdthegroup accountable for local
and staterevenues dedicated to theCAF for thepurpose of havingitsheadquarters at Midland International Airport and having"Fifi," the
B-29 superfortress, housed inMidland.
02014 MRT.COOl AD rightsreserved This material may ncx be published, broadcast, rewritten ex-redistributed
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Prominent Midland family withdraws support for CAF
Joe and Van Mabee urge CAF members to vote against headquarters move
Posted Saturday, September 21,2013 10:24 pmiUpdated: 11:26 am, Mon Sep 23,2013.
By Rachael Gleason I rgleason@mrt.com r
In a room filled with remnants of wars past, a framed copy of the April 10, 1990, Reporter-Telegram offers an emotional banner story:
"Midland offer wins CAF: Ex-board member calls it 'greatest thing since oil."
The frame belongs to Midland oilman-aviator Joe Mabee and sits in a room of his north Midland home devoted to the Commemorative
Air Force and World War II history.
Joe, chairman ofthe board of the J. E. and L. E. Mabee Foundation, was a key player in bringing the CAF to Midland from the South
Texas city of Harlingen in the 1990s. But now that the organization is potentially moving its headquarters to a larger metropolitan area,
the 82-year-old and his wife, Van, worry about what will happen to decades oftirne, money and emotional investment.
"It took this city to get behind it, and they raised the money and it was a labor of love,' said Van, noting it took $5, $10 and $20
donations, as well as millions, to grow the CAF at Midland International Airport. "We worked too hard."
That's why the Mabees are calling on CAF member-volunteers to "muster the troops" and let their voices be heard at the ballot box.
The vote
As the Mabees lead a tour of their CAF and military room, which included a library, model airplanes and historical memorabilia, Joe
pointed out a cartoon of the original move to Midland from the Rio Grande Valley, where Lloyd Nolen purchased a P-51 Mustang in 1957
and started what he and a group of ex-service pilots originally called the Confederate Air Force.
"He said, 'I think this is a great idea. I'm all for it.' And when he said that, I went to work," said Joe, who was chief of staff for two years
when it moved.
But Van remembers it taking Nolen time to accept the fact the CAF was moving from Harlingen.
"He wanted it to grow, but he was a little bit afraid of it," she said. "Once he got (to Midland) and saw the facility, he knew the
community was behind the CAF. He had never been happier. And Lloyd thought the CAF was moving here permanently."
CAF announced in May its decision to relocate administrative offices and build a new national air base. A narrowed list of possible
locations includes airports in Fort Worth, McKinney, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Sherman-Dennison.
''Each of these eight locations has the potential to help propel the Commemorative Air Force to a higher plane of awareness and national
impact," said Stephan C. Brown, CAF president and CEO, in a prepared statement.
An l l-mernber board of directors, or general staff, voted in April to move the headquarters and amend the bylaws in July. Now, three-
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fourths of about 10,000member-volunteers --who can't votedirectly onthelocation --must authorize the board to make afinal
selection, according to aprepared statement.
During thefirst move, Joe saidthemembership had thepower to voteon themove. They had achoice between not relocating or moving
to Midland, which theboard recommended, or SanAntonio, which offered to issueabond.
"It ended upanasty battlebetween SanAntonio and Midland," saidJoe, who movedtoMidland with hisfamilyat 12andgot hisfirst
tasteof flightat 15whileworking for anairport south of town.
But theTall City came out ontopasthe dry weather offered asafeplace to storeairplanes, thevacant Windecker Industries'hangar and
production plant offered roomfor growth and thecommunity offered donations, including$1millioneach fromtheMabee Foundation
and Abell-Hanger Foundation.
"Wewere debt-free," saidJoe, now 82. "Then it came to thevotebetween SanAntonio and Midlandto all themembership, and Midland
won thevote."
"Midland won, fair and square," Vanchimed in.
TheMabees, who don't support theCAF movingitsheadquarters andrecommend votingagainst the board authorization, saidthe
member-volunteers shouldhavethedecision.
"All members had achance to voteonhavingitinHarlingen, SanAntonio or Midland. Every member had achoice. It wasn't the choice
of meor theboard," Joe said.
A prepared statement fromtheCAF urgingmember-volunteers to voteexplained that thevoteisaone-time authorization and stated why
theboard changed thebylaws to prevent member-volunteers fromvotingdirectly.
"This severely cripples theabilityfor theGeneral Staff tonegotiate thebest possibleeconomic incentives for theCAF fromthepotential
locations," according tothe statement. "Also, citieswill not want to investalot of timeandmoney pursuing theCAF if they feel that the
membership couldvoteagainst their city."
Still,theMabees worry about thefuture impact of givingtheboard thepower tomake decisions without approval of themembership.
"As amember myself, I would never givethegeneral staff theauthority to votefor anew home or eventhink of onewithout knowing all
the facts fromall the cities," saidVan, urgingmember-volunteers torequest aballotbefore Oct. 6deadline.
Joe and Vansaidthey haven't seen any information about thenow six possiblelocations --informationthegeneral staff provided during
theoriginal move 15years ago.
"They wanted all themembers toknow exactly what thecitieswere offering. Itwasn't asecret, under-the-table deal," shesaid.
Citieshavebeen asked to submit by Sept. 30alistof incentivesto proposals publishedby Jones LangLaSalle, according to anAugust
2013 memo.
The international real estate and consultingfirmishelpingtheCAF findasuitableproperty based onrequirements that includebeing
located near ametropolitan area and near thecrossroads of two or more interstate highways. Inadditionto community support and
economic incentives, thelocation must also siton at least 150to200 acres ofland adjacent to amajor international airport and have
airspace around and abovetheairport.
Vansaidthecriteria describe Midland all over again.
"They used almost thesame criteriato moveto abase asthey didto movehere: open air space, airport, lengthy runways, visibility,room
togrow. I mean they aredescribing Midland right here again. It's the samething. They're sayingwedon't haveany of this, andwehave
itall," shesaid.
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Joe said despite years of donating his time and money to the CAF, he was shocked when he heard of the board's intentions to relocate the
headquarters.
"I didn't think it would ever happen like this," he said.
And even though he can't say officially what the Mabee Foundation would do, Joe made his personal intentions clear ifthe CAF moved
its headquarters out of Midland:
"I wouldn't give him a penny," he said.
(:12014 MRT.com. All rights reserved This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed
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Hl A RST newspapers
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Editorial: There's still time for CAF to fix the mess Brown created
Editor's Note
Editors' note: The followingisajoint editorial fromtheMidlandReporter-Telegram and Odessa American. Weare offeringthis
because the Commemorative Air Force has aspecial place inthehearts of both communities and because CAF President Stephan
Brown has been pointed inhis comments about thecoverage hehas received.
Posted Sunday, September 15,20136:07 pm
Reporter-Telegram, Odessa AmericanI
Inaspecial report intoday's Odessa American and MidlandReporter-Telegram, we learned that MidlandCityCouncilman Scott Dufford
has called for theCommemorative Air Force to pay millionsinreparations if theCAF moves itsinternational headquarters.
Weendorse Dufford's comments and appreciate that he hasjoined what isbecoming alonger listof Midlandand Odessa officialswho are
callingout CAF ExecutiveDirector Stephan Brown. Brown has not only put our two communities onnotice of apossibledeparture of the
headquarters but hispublic wranglingwithpeople such as stateRep. TomCraddick andAbell-Hanger Foundation ExecutiveDirector
David Smithisnot what we believeisrepresentative of theCAF, itsmembership and board.
WefmdBrown's attempt at spinningthe news of thepotential departure to aplacesuch as McKinney as lessthan wewould expect,
considering what Midland and Odessa, itsleaders, residents, associations and foundations havedonefor the CAF. Thanks to the
leadership of men such as JoeMabee, Ed Jones and Smith, the CAF was savedfromitssituationinHarlingen and givenevery resource to
thriveinour area. Addthecapable leadership ofCraddick andthe citiesof Midlandand Odessa andwhat they havemade possibleover
theyears, and wewonder how Brown couldexpect adifferent reaction.
Wewill not betold toaccept that themuseumand AirShowill continue andthat those concessions should begoodenough.
Wewill not make it as easy as possiblefor Brown tomake themove, and beresigned to status as aconsolation CAF site.
Weagree withacomment weheard fromSmith: "What would LloydNolan (an original CAF founder) think of this?"
The community does not deserve themoveor Brown's attitudeafter what has been doneto savetheCAF and buildit intowhat it is
today. The communities offered conditions to allowfor CAF's financial well-beingand resources for what tomorrow will bring.
Wealso agree with Smiththat this situationcan befixed. Wewant theCAF, itsboard and members to bringitsfuture plans tothe
decision-makers, people of influence andthose quitecapable of gettingthings done. Weexpect they will besatisfiedwiththeresults. It is
disconcerting to know that current leadership has yet to haveface-to-face conversations withpeople such as Smithand others who were
influential insavingthe CAF fromitsprevious situation.
Inour view, this isn't over, and those inMidland and Odessa shouldkeep pressingfor adifferent outcome. The investment of money,
resources and influence deserves better than ahalf-page adwithexcuses that don't measure up. This can befixed, but thetimeisnow.
"Nothing has been doneyet that isirrevocable," Smithsaid. "It can bemade better. It isall about communication."
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Craddick: Relocating CAF headquarters is a mistake
Posted Wednesday, October 9,2013 6:03pmI Updated: 12:59pm, Thu Oct 10, 2013.
By Rachael Gleason I rgleason@mrt.com I
After the Commemorative Air Force expressed interest inrelocating itsheadquarters, stateRep. TomCraddick called ontheCAF's board
of directors to "right the ship."
Months later, Craddick isstill concerned theorganization istravelinginthewrong direction. He saiduprootingfromMidland --a
fmancially supportiveandvolunteer-rich city --isamistake.
"Youhaveto stay withwho brungyou, and Midland bailedthemout when they didn't haveanything," Craddick saidWednesday at the
Midland County Republican Women's monthly luncheon at thePetroleum Club. "They havesignedcommitments that they oweto some
people. 1think they're goingto haveproblems with someofthose commitments once they move."
CAF colonels can voteFriday at the annual AirSho's general membership meetingor thismonth by absentee ballot on whether to
authorize theboard of directors, or General Staff, to make afmal selection onthemove. Craddick saidhe's ahonorary colonel andnot
allowed tovote.
"We'll seewhat happens," he said. "1haveno ideawhere they are, where thegroups are."
Local HighSky Wingmembers seeachance for growth and more public visibilityintherelocation, but Craddick saidhe doesn't
understand how movingany part of theCAF --whether it's airplanes or exhibitry --to anew national air base would behelpful tothe
local wing.
Craddick alsovoiced concern about the CAF's financial future. Theorganization narrowed itslistof possiblelocations to airports insix
Texas citiesintheHouston, SanAntonio andDallas metropolitan areas.
"1don't knowwhat they're gettingout of those citiesor howthey're goingto (buildanational presence)," hesaid. "1think they will cut
ties withtheir Midlandfmancial base oncethey do that."
2014 MRT.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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