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502nd Air Base Wing activation makes Joint Base SA a reality

By Capt. Rose Richeson | Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs | July 28, 2009

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas - Installation management began uniting under Joint Base San Antonio during an activation ceremony at Air Education and Training Command headquarters on Randolph Air Force Base today at 9 a.m.

Gen. Stephen R. Lorenz, AETC commander, officiated the ceremony appointing Brig. Gen. Leonard A. "Len" Patrick as 502nd Air Base Wing commander. General Patrick previously served as the 37th Training Wing commander at Lackland AFB.

San Antonio is one of 12 locations worldwide where Department of Defense sites are combining to form joint bases. Under the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Joint Basing plan for San Antonio, installation support functions at Fort Sam Houston will combine with those at Randolph and Lackland AFBs to support what will be the largest customer-based organization in the Department of Defense when completed in 2011.

Support functions being combined include command support operations like chaplains, safety and public affairs, and natural and built environment functions such as public works and housing. Other joint base functions include community services and morale programs, such as police, fire, chapel, youth activities, lodging and dining facilities, and resource functions like supply, transportation, finance and information technology.

Guidance for this action comes from the Secretary of Defense and identifies the Air Force as the lead agency.

"When we think of the history at Fort Sam Houston and all that it has contributed to the history of our nation, it's pretty amazing," General Lorenz said following a joint basing workshop held at Randolph AFB June 9-11. "What happens with the implementation of joint basing at Fort Sam should be totally transparent. We're in this together as a team."