JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas —
“A dream come true,” is how Brig. Gen. Heather Pringle, 502nd Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio commander, describes her experience at JBSA.
“I cherish every person that I met and every hand that I shook,” said Pringle, who will relinquish her command June 6. “I’m pretty lucky to have the opportunity to command, come to a community like Military City, USA, and to work with all our sister services.”
Prior to her arrival at JBSA, Pringle served as commander of the 555th International Materiel Squadron, Air Force Security Assistance Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; vice commander of the 377th Air Base Wing, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico; and as executive officer to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force in Washington, D.C.
For two years, Pringle has been the commander of the 8,000-person 502nd ABW, which executes 49 installation support functions that create the largest joint base in the Department of Defense. JBSA is made up of 266 mission partners, more than 80,000 full-time personnel and a local community of more than 250,000 retirees.
“It’s a diverse, complex and geographically distributed wing, and I think synchronizing all those moving parts is really a challenge,” Pringle said. “I think the 502nd makes it look easy, but it’s a tough one.”
Commanders can sometimes face many challenges, but Pringle said she feels lucky to have been in San Antonio because of its Military City, USA distinction.
“The community really embraces the military, it’s proud of its military heritage in which they work hard to earn and they give to all the service members.” she said.
For Pringle, JBSA’s greatest attributes are the sense of family and the commitment to the success of the mission.
“No matter what corner of JBSA I went to, everyone felt tied to each other and they felt tied to the mission,” she said. “They really wanted to see their peers succeed, as well as the mission.”
Throughout her command here, Pringle said there were too many things accomplished by JBSA to name.
“There are lot of really exciting and large-scale things that this team has accomplished, whether it’s working through some real emergency actions, to putting on a huge air show with the community,” she said. “It’s pretty exciting and makes me proud to watch.”
When she leaves the installation, Pringle hopes the wing continues to excel as it does now.
“I know that this wing is going to keep doing great things even after I leave and honestly I hope that’s what my legacy is,” she said. “That they just keep doing things that they have been doing and they continue to go down that path in the future whether I’m here or not.
“I can’t wait for JBSA to be recognized as the premier installation in DOD.”