JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —
Civic leaders from across the Joint Base San Antonio metropolitan area gathered at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston May 21 for their first of three honorary commander tours to learn more about the 502nd Air Base Wing.
Brig. Gen. Laura L. Lenderman, 502nd Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio commander, served as host and provided an insight into the wing’s operations and responsibilities to mission partners during the morning’s briefing.
“Our goal is continue to grow our partnerships across the region and strengthen our relationships as members of this thriving community.” Lenderman said.
“It was impressive to see the scale and extent of what was shown, but more impressive to see the teams of people and their dedication to a vision set by the 502nd ABW leadership,” said Russell Yeager, 502nd Civil Engineer Group director.
After the briefing, the civic leaders received a windshield tour and a close look at the 502nd CEG’s operations, environmental capabilities, and Fire and Emergency Services.
"It is important to showcase our capability to those that aren't in the military,” said Staff Sgt. Eli Marquez, NCOIC, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight. “This tour, and others like this, are critical in keeping a good relationship with our civilian counterparts.”
“I was amazed at the size of Fort Sam Houston,” said Stacey Isenberg, San Antonio Water System Chief of Internal Audit. “I never realized how many acres it covers in the middle of the city. I was also impressed with the mutual support between JBSA and the City, particularly as it relates to the greenway trail project next to the equestrian center. Once completed, San Antonio will have a linear park that spans the entire length of the City from the north to the south. This would not be possible without JBSA.”
“I really enjoyed the opportunity to showcase the Fort Sam Houston Equestrian Center’s operation and discuss our partnership with the City of San Antonio,” said Thomas Goodwin, 502nd Force Support Squadron Director.
Following the outdoor recreation and equestrian center visits, the group went to the Slagel dining facility, the largest dining facility in the Department of Defense, where they toured the facility and had lunch.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but now that I’m here, I’m glad to be a part of this,” said Pastor Michael Brown, True Vision Church minister, during the Slagel dining facility tour.
"I have driven past JBSA-Fort Sam Houston twice a day for nearly eight years and, until now, never realized the magnitude that the installation, along with its service members and employees, have on San Antonio. This is unique learning opportunity for the honorary commanders," said Sean Hoffmann, Seguin Independent School District executive director of communications.
The 502nd ABW honorary commanders participate in several special events during the two-year span they serve, which allows the civic leaders a chance to interact with JBSA’s service members, while learning more about the wing’s mission.