If you saw the awe-inspiring Thunderbird flyover last weekend to honor all the Southern Nevada hospitals and first responders helping to fight the coronavirus, you have a Summerlin resident to thank for making it happen!
Brigadier General Robert G. Novotny of the 57th Wing Commander at Nellis Air Force Base, who is responsible for all the uber cool activities and initiatives at Nellis, including the Thunderbirds, the Red Flag and Green Flag exercises, 38 squadrons and more than 130 diverse aircraft, oversaw the planning and development of the flyover as a way to unite the community while expressing gratitude and respect for those on the front lines of the pandemic.
Novotny and his wife, Dawn, who recently returned to Las Vegas for the third time during Novotny’s storied military career, are preparing to put down roots of the permanent kind in Summerlin. All this in advance of Novotny’s retirement from the U.S. Air Force after 28 years that took he and his family around the world more than once.
The Novotny family’s first stint in Las Vegas from 2003 to 2005 put them in The Hills village in Summerlin near Lummis Elementary School. “Everyone told us to live in Summerlin because of the schools, and based on the great experience of our kids, we couldn’t agree more,” said Gen. Novotny.
After assignments in Rhode Island, Alabama, Japan and Washington, DC, the family returned again to Summerlin again in 2011, this time choosing to live in The Canyons village to be closer to Sig Rogich Middle School and Faith Lutheran Jr./Sr. High School. “We upgraded a bit from our first Summerlin home, but continued to love Summerlin for all the same reasons as the first time around: beautiful trees and landscaping, good schools, and a true sense of community.”
In 2013, Novotny was deployed to Afghanistan, then assigned in 2014 to serve as Commander of the 48th Fighter Wing south of Cambridge in England. He went on to serve a two-year stint in Virginia from 2016-2018 before returning to Las Vegas and Summerlin – for the third time.
Today, the couple is preparing to move into what is expected to be their “forever home” in the village of Stonebridge. “We keep moving south and west and look forward to the amazing views we will enjoy from our new home,” said Gen. Novotny. “We have lots of retired military friends here so it really is the beginning of what we anticipate will be a great next chapter in our lives.”
The Novotny family includes two adult children: son, Hunter, who recently returned to Las Vegas after graduating from Texas A&M University; and daughter, Katilyn, a pre-med student at Texas A&M whose aspirations are to return to Las Vegas to attend medical school and eventually practice as an orthopedic surgeon.
“Despite the fact that our kids have literally traveled the globe, they, too, have a love affair with Las Vegas and Summerlin. It really is our family’s home sweet home.”