JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
On a picture-perfect September morning, 13 members from the 433rd Airlift Wing Honorary Commanders program received a tour provided by the 433rd Mission Support Group units at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Sept. 9.
The 433rd MSG provides services and support to the more than 2,500 members of the wing, as well as to an additional 1,100 personnel assigned to 14 units under the 960th Cyber Operations Group. The group is comprised of the 433rd Force Support Squadron, 433rd Security Forces Squadron, 433rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, 433rd Civil Engineer Squadron, 26th Aerial Port Squadron and the 74th Aerial Port Squadron.
Lt. Col. James Hearn III, 433rd SFS commander, led the Honorary Commanders on a tour that included briefers and static displays from logistics support, aerial port, security forces and explosive ordnance disposal Airmen throughout the morning while handling an array of equipment used in Air Force specialties.
Hearn emphasized the fact that most of the Reservists assigned to the 433rd AW are Reserve citizen Airmen professionals who work together to accomplish the mission.
“Reservists are part of one big team working together,” he said.
The Honorary Commanders were introduced to one of the mainstays of any military career, deployment. Their first stop was in logistics where they were able to see what a deployment line was like followed by actually trying on a chemical warfare suit.
“I hope the Honorary Commanders take away an understanding of what we do and that we can operate in any environment,” said Master Sgt. Basil Persaud, a section chief with central storage with the 433rd LRS. “This will give the civilian employers a better idea of what their employees might do on a weekend and will open their eyes to something that they might only see in movies."
After the Honorary Commanders had a chance to wear the chemical warfighting suit, Hearn emphasized the constant training reservist do to be ready for a mission anywhere in the world they may be needed.
“That readiness focus is what our command is trying to instill in all of us,” he said.
The logistics aspect of the tour fascinated one Honorary Commander, Clay Richmond, vice president with JSWC Ltd., a pizza franchiser in San Antonio.
“I was enlightened to see everything the military does. It wasn’t just bullets, butts and beans, but the logistics behind it,” Richmond said. “It was fascinating to see how they load the C-5 and I can’t imagine how they can do that under fire.”
The Honorary Commanders discussed the tools used by the 433rd SFS personnel and the 433rd CES EOD. The group then moved to the wing's cargo loading training facility. They also witnessed a Humvee being loaded into a C-5M loading compartment.
The Honorary Commanders Program was established to encourage an exchange of ideas, share best practices, and nurture friendship between key members of the local civilian population and the Joint Base San Antonio military community. The program provides an exclusive opportunity for San Antonio area civic leaders to shadow the 433rd AW, group and squadron commanders.