First Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Paul W. Airey, reads a plaque historically naming the 319th Training Squadron to the Airey Processing Center at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas on Wednesday, June 14, 2006. In all, nine Basic Training facilities were named for Enlisted heroes.
Lackland Air Force Base, Texas —
Nine posters on wooden easels formed a semicircle before the reviewing stand during a 45-minute memorialization ceremony Wednesday morning at the base parade field.
During the ceremony, nine basic training facilities were dedicated in honor of each of the Air Force enlisted heroes depicted on the posters.
"It's right here at Lackland that most of these amazing Airmen got their start," 37th Training Wing commander Brig. Gen. Mary Kay Hertog said of Chief Master Sgts. of the Air Force Paul W. Airey and Thomas N. Barnes, Chief Master Sgts. Grace A. Peterson, Duane D. Hackney and Richard L. Etchberger, Master Sgt. Henry E. Erwin, Tech. Sgt. John A. Chapman, Senior Airman Jason D. Cunningham and Airman 1st Class Elizabeth N. Jacobson.
"It's our Airmen - our enlisted corps - that makes us the best ... That's what sets us apart, above all others," she continued.
According to Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Gerald R. Murray, renaming the recruiting housing and training facilities after these heroes will help introduce incoming trainees into Air Force history even quicker.
"From the day these men and women walk onto these grounds, they'll learn where they came from," said the 14th chief master sergeant of the Air Force.
Chief Airey, friends and family of the deceased honorees, basic trainees, Airmen, civilians and other members of Team Lackland watched as the Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team performed their precision routines and as the military training instructors marched in perfect unison before the reviewing stand to offer a salute to those who gave so much to the Air Force.
"I see the future (on this parade ground)," Chief Murray said, referring to the basic training flights standing at parade rest. "This is where legends are born."
The Chief went on to challenge the trainees to face difficulties, to find a pioneering spirit and to always be ready to be successful, just as those being memorialized had done.
"(This ceremony) was tremendous," said retired Tech. Sgt. David Reyburn who traveled from Kansas City for the event. "Chief Etchberger was a personal mentor of mine at Bismark, N.D. It was an honor to be here among the (friends and family) of the other honorees."
The facilites dedicated now carry these names:
-- Peterson Training Complex
-- Erwin Training Complex
-- Airey Processing Center
-- Hackney Training Complex
-- Chapman Training Complex
-- Barnes Training Complex
-- Etchberger Training Complex
-- Cunningham Training Complex
-- Jacobson Training Complex