On September 26, 2006, Northrop Grumman Chairman and CEO Ronald D. Sugar received the John R. Alison Award from the Air Force Association. Below are his remarks.
It’s great to be here with all of you tonight. I hold a special affection for the Air Force Association. You do remarkable work.
You have invited me here tonight to accept the John R. Alison award. A reading of the past recipients of this award is a humbling experience. Each of this award’s past recipients has made enormous contributions to our nation’s defense, to the values and ideals that justify them, and to the citizens who depend on them. I am greatly honored that you have seen fit to associate my name with theirs.
This award is named after John R. Alison. As such, it has special meaning for me and for my company. This is because John Alison was an integral part of Northrop for over thirty years, and a vice president in our Washington office when he retired. Few people have a better understanding of the importance of industry to our nation’s security. Of course, John’s illustrious business career followed a heroic military career that any Hollywood producer would reject as being too fantastical for a movie screenplay. John Alison has excelled at everything he has done with his life and his is a fitting name to lend to this important award.
But this award really recognizes the efforts of the 120,000 employees of Northrop Grumman Corporation – the dedicated and hardworking people who contribute every day to the security of our nation. These folks have enjoyed a wonderful heritage with the U.S. Air Force, including building the P-61 Black Widow night fighter, The F-89 Scorpion, the XB-35 and XB-49 Flying Wing bombers, the T-38 trainer, the B-2 Stealth Bomber, Global Hawk, the ICBM program, and many of the Air Force’s early warning and communications satellites. I know that they are as gratified as I am to receive this honor.
The Air Force Association is extremely important to our nation. The roles of Congress and the Defense Department are well understood. Together they decide which defense programs will be pursued, and how much resources will be appropriated for their completion. The defense industry’s role is also clear. We create the technology the nation needs. But the role of organizations like yours is less well understood, though just as crucial. You help frame the national debate on the importance of air and ground dominance to the security of our nation. And you care about the concerns of those who serve in uniform, and their families.
I am proud of my company’s relationship with the United States Air Force, and with the Air Force Association. And I’m proud to accept from you the John R. Alison award tonight.