(AKA - The Hughes trophy)

Recognized as the top Air Force award for the air defense mission, the Hughes Achievement Award (now know as the Raytheon Achievement Award) has been awarded to the Air Force’s top Fighter-Interceptor Squadron since 1953. Popularly known as by many as the Hughes Trophy, the awards was once sponsored by the Hughes Aircraft Company, is now sponsored by the Raytheon Company after the company purchased Hughes Electronics in 1997. 


  Criteria for the award is a squadron engaging in active air defense operations, with an outstanding Intercept Training success rate, aircraft ready rate, and flying safety rate. Initially, only Fighter Intercept units could participate, in 1970 Headquarters, United States Air Force opened the competition to any squadron performing the air defense as their primary mission.


 The first 11 trophies were designed by Julien Focan. Focan was born in Belgium on Christmas Day in 1906, immigrated to the U.S. in 1930. After Pearl Harbor, Focan joined the war effort with the Manhattan Project fabricating complicated triggering mechanisms for the first atomic bomb.  


 In 1945, he began making bowls for the Dodge Trophy Company using a technique where the artist hammers the metal into shape without using a mold. His expertise was quickly recognized and he was commissioned to design the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, and Cotton Bowl trophies. His metalwork talent also reached Hollywood, designing the Ramses’ golden chariot in the movie “The Ten Commandments.”  


Commissioned in 1952, Focan design and fabricated 11 Hughes Achievement Award trophies. In 1963, the Air Force reclaimed the first trophy from the deactivated 58th FIS to award pass on to the current winner of the trophy, the trophy is then passed on to the next winner.


Setting very high standards in the Air Defense Mission, the 318th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron has been nominated for the award numerous times, winning the award in 1975 & 1984.

1975 1984
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