JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
Brig. Gen. Caroline Miller, 502nd Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio commander, hosted the 502nd ABW Honorary Commander Hail and Farewell April 23 at the Gateway Club at JBSA-Lackland.
The purpose of the program is to foster a supportive partnership and relationship with community leaders to increase their awareness about the 502nd ABW, JBSA and the Air Force missions.
Honorary commanders are civic leaders chosen from communities around the JBSA metropolitan area and are paired with 502nd ABW military commanders and senior leaders.
Twenty-three civic leaders were honored during the event with a certificate and pinning ceremony.
“There is no doubt that we will continue to strengthen our relationship with the community as we welcome our new honorary commanders today,” Miller said.
Lt. Col. Edward Walker, 502nd Operations Support Squadron commander, said the program allows the wing to connect the military leaders to key civic and community leaders.
“The program is an invaluable initiative that allows us to continue telling the military story to the community around us,” Walker said. “Nowhere could this be more important than in Military City USA.”
Walker is a San Antonio native who graduated from the San Antonio school system. He said he is looking forward to his future interactions with his new honorary commander, who is an educator.
“I was particularly interested in working with a local educator to bring what we have to offer in the 502nd OSS to bear in furthering STEM goals within schools, while also showcasing what military service has to offer,” Walker said.
The 502nd Trainer Development Squadron departing honorary commander Sean Hoffmann, Chief Communications Officer for the Seguin Independent School District, shared his experience and encouraged the new group to make time and learn what the 502nd and JBSA missions are through the program.
“You get to learn about what goes on at the bases and the different installations,” Hoffman said. “The interactiveness of the program is outstanding too. You’re not going to sit in a lecture hall to learn about what the installations do. You’re going to be a part of the mission and you get to see and engage.”
During their two-year term, the group will have an opportunity to participate in approximately 16 events hosted by the 502nd ABW commander and some other special events hosted by their squadron or group commander. In the past, some of the events have included changes of command, Air Force Ball, Commanders Call, and various tours across the three main JBSA locations.
The new honorary commanders’ are scheduled to attend their first event on June 4 at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.