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NEWS | May 10, 2023

Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston hosts honorary commander tour

By Staff Sgt. Abbigayle Williams 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Brig. Gen. Russell D. Driggers, Joint Base San Antonio and 502nd Air Base Wing commander, hosted an honorary commander’s tour at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston May 5, 2023.

Commanders from throughout the 502nd ABW and their respective honorary commanders visited several locations throughout the installation to increase awareness of the wing’s mission.

According to the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence, the goal of the honorary commander program is to partner with members of the local community, exposing them to the various missions of the armed services.

This is done by educating key community leaders in unit missions, fostering a supportive relationship with the community and increasing military involvement in civic events and organizations within the local community.

The 21 JBSA honorary commanders will serve for two years and were inducted into the program March 31, 2023. During their tenure, commanders will invite their honorary commanders to unit functions, ceremonies and various tours. The civic leaders will also invite their military leaders to civilian events, business meetings and gatherings.

During the first honorary commander tour of 2023, participants visited the 502nd Logistic Readiness Squadron vehicle maintenance shop.  

“Lt. Col. Robbie Walsh and his team at the 502nd LRS are responsible for moving our service members every day across JBSA,” Driggers said. “They arrange transportation on a small- and large-scale operation and these efforts are critical to ensure the Air Education and Training Command can execute mission requirements, training our service members daily.”

In addition to the 502nd LRS, participants stopped by the equestrian centers and received an inside look to the daily operations of housing local miliary member’s horses, along with the warrior transition center program.

While at the equestrian center, facility manager Deanne Shead spoke about the Greenway Trails project in partnership with the city of San Antonio. The project backs up to 26 horse paddocks, which are being relocated prior to the connection of the Salado Creek Greenway trails.

Homer Garcia III, City of San Antonio Director of Parks and Recreation, was previously quoted saying, “The relocation of the horse paddocks and amended easement will ultimately allow for the much-anticipated completion of the Salado Creek Greenway trail north and south of base.”

Finally, all commanders and their honorary commanders stopped by the Slagel Dining Facility to see how the Department of Defense’s second largest dining facility serves nearly 5,000 people at lunch.

The JBSA honorary commander program, established in 1997, will hold its next installation tour during the summer for the 2023-2025 honorary commanders.