Wing celebrates Honorary commanders, Speakers Symposium

  • Published
  • By Col. Scott Hanson
  • 92nd ARW commander
Recently you may have noticed many exciting things are happening at Fairchild Air Force Base. This past week we hosted Afghanistan's ambassador to the United States as well as a United States Senator. 

The Afghan ambassador, Said Jawad, was here Thursday morning at Club Fairchild to meet with Airmen and their families who have supported Operation Enduring Freedom in his country. 

Senator Maria Cantwell also came to Fairchild on Saturday. She toured the 336th Training Group, and I had the pleasure of meeting with her to give her an update on wing operations. These two distinguished visitors once again saw first-hand Fairchild's Professional Expeditionary Airmen on display - but they are not our only recent visitors. 

Honorary Commanders
Last Friday we also brought out over 20 Honorary Commanders to showcase our people and mission. The day started with a tour of the Expeditionary Airmen's Center of Excellence. Thank you to Lt. Col. Randy Stenzel and Capt. Kristin Stevens for your hard work highlighting improvements to our expeditionary operations. 

Next, we took the Honorary Commanders on board a KC-135 Stratotanker training mission to refuel F-15s based out of Klamath Falls, Ore. Honorary Commanders were impressed with our aircrew's professionalism and skill. It was clear, the 92nd Air Refueling Squadron and the 92nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron team hit a home run!
That afternoon we showed them our KC-135 flight simulator, operated by Maj. Steve Matthews, and our Physiological Training Facility, run by Master Sgt. Brian Lawrence. Next, Maj. Gina Humble showed the commanders our 5-star fitness center, and then our indoor pool, wood skills shop, and outdoor recreation center. 

The outdoor recreation center was also featured Friday morning on a local news morning show. Anchor Dave Cotton, an Honorary Commander, assigned to Lt. Col. David Yockey's 92nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, interviewed Vice Wing Commander Col. Roger Watkins as well as Della Gooding of the Airman and Family Readiness Center, and Damian Smith, the outdoor recreation director about what they do here at Fairchild. The piece aired live Friday morning. 

The day concluded with an "Eagles" induction ceremony for the Honorary Commanders from 2005-2006, as well as a reception at Club Fairchild. I would like to express my gratitude to all of the Honorary Commanders for their remarkable support and to all who turned out for this great event! 

By actively integrating community leaders into our Air Force family, we are building strong relationships vital to Fairchild's future. 

60th Anniversary Speakers Symposium
We hosted General "Erv" Lessel, a former 92nd wing commander, to kick off our 60th Anniversary Speakers Symposium Wednesday. Throughout the day, the general addressed a variety of groups on base as part of the Air Force and Fairchild's 60th Anniversary. General Lessel was impressed with Fairchild Airmen and shared with them some of his experiences dating back to the wing's response to attacks on 9/11 that happened during his command here. 

In the morning the general discussed Air Force issues with a group of our junior enlisted Airmen at the Warrior Inn Dining Facility. During the remainder of the day he spoke to groups of company-grade officers, NCOs and senior NCOs, as well as squadron, group and wing leadership. 

We wrapped up the afternoon with a reception at Club Fairchild in which we brought together base professional organizations and Spokane-area civic leaders. 

Team Fairchild has much to look forward to over the next several months as we continue our symposium series commemorating the Air Force's rich heritage and developing strong relationships with the community. The year's events will culminate with a 60th-Anniversary themed Air Force Ball in September - keep an eye out for your chance to participate in one of these great professional development opportunities!

Lasting Heritage... 
Limitless Horizons