Exchange officers conferred Sword of Honor

  • Published
  • By Marisa Alia-Novobilski
  • Air Force Materiel Command

In 1946, Winston S. Churchill delivered a speech calling for a mutual exchange of officers between the U.S. and the British Commonwealth in an effort to further the study of defense needs and weapons technology.

At a gala event at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, June 2, the continued success of this international partnership was celebrated with the award of the 2020 Royal Air Force Museum American Foundation Sword of Honor to the top performing exchange officers from each nation, recognizing excellence in pursuit of aviation.

British Consul General Alan Gogbashian conferred the Royal Air Force sword to Group Captain 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 Capt. Katie Broyles by Gen. Arnold W. Bunch, Jr., Air Force Materiel Command Commander, recognizing 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. But, we also get to continue to celebrate the relationship with a great allied partner.
Gen. Arnold W. Bunch, Jr.

“We get to recognize these officers for their contributions to each of our forces and our nations,” said Bunch, 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 you [the RAF] that helped shape many of the things we’ve worked to grow, develop and evolve today.”

Originally 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 has 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, “Oh, thus be it ever when freeman stall stand,” a line from the Star Spangled Banner. The U.S. Air Force counterpart is inscribed with Winston Churchill’s quote, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few,” and is on display in the Pentagon.

“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 UK whose contributions during 2020 most reflect the values that our veterans, and the Foundation, share: service, excellence, integrity and courage,” said Maj. Gen. (Retired) 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, during his U.S. tour, 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 other 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 1 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 RAF.

“We’re much stronger when partnering and working together,” said Bunch. “It’s a partnership and alliance that we need to continue to grow and celebrate.”

For more information about the Royal Air Force Museum American Foundation and their programs, visit