August 8, 2007
US Airways Captain Clyde Romero Receives ALPA’s Presidential Citation
Marietta, Georgia Pilot Recognized for Protecting Aircraft against Shoulder-Fired Missiles
WASHINGTON—The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) will recognize US Airways Capt. Clarence “Clyde” Romero with a 2007 Presidential Citation Award, the Association’s honor for outstanding work in aviation security, for his commitment to protecting aircraft against the dangers of shoulder-fired missiles, called Man Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS). This award will be presented on August 9 at ALPA’s 53rd Annual Air Safety & Security Week and Awards Banquet in Washington, D.C.
Small, light, and obtainable in the global arms markets, thousands of MANPADS are available in various versions from surplus or stolen military stocks. Thanks to pilot volunteers like Capt. Romero, however, ALPA was one of the first organizations to announce and actively promote its concern about this emerging threat to government and law enforcement agencies.
“Capt. Romero committed tremendous amounts of personal time and effort, taking significant risks, to further his knowledge of MANPADS to help protect passengers, crews, and cargo. That kind of dedication deserves our respect and recognition,” said ALPA President, Capt. John Prater. “Without valuable volunteers like Clyde, ALPA would not be the credible safety and security advocacy organization it is today.”
ALPA first recognized the MANPADS threat to commercial aviation shortly after the Afghan/Soviet conflict that spanned the decade between 1979 and 1989. The lack of accountability of U.S.-supplied Stinger-type missiles, and subsequent black market availability of those missiles, provided terrorists with the potential ability to effectively attack aircraft anywhere in the world.
Capt. Romero used his expertise and government security clearances with federal civilian and military entities to glean important information and consistently educate ALPA pilots about MANPADS issues while advocating for effective technologies to counter the surface-to-air missile threat to the aviation industry.
“Captain Romero's military background, his willingness to investigate all aspects of the MANPADS threat, and his resolve to educate pilots about these threats make him an invaluable asset at both the national and airline level. Especially after 9/11, I know of no other pilot who has worked more toward the security of flight crews and our passengers than he has. I am proud to say that he embodies all of the characteristics of a dedicated US Airways pilot and ALPA member,” said US Airways Master Executive Council Chairman Jack Stephan.
Capt. Romero, who flies the A320, was hired by US Airways in 1978 and is based out of Philadelphia. He is a member of the ALPA National Security Committee and is that committee's MANPADS subject matter expert. He lives in Marietta, Georgia, and has one daughter.
Founded in 1931, ALPA represents more than 60,000 pilots at 41 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org for more information.
# # #
CONTACT: Pete Janhunen, Linda Shotwell, Molly Martin, (703) 481-4440