Three new Columbus AFB Wingmen named

COLUMBUS AFB, Miss. -- In one of his final acts as 14th Flying Training Wing commander, Col. Stephen Wilson awarded three local civilians the Columbus Wingman Award June 2 at the Columbus Club.

Chuck Bigelow of the Columbus Marina, Nancy Carpenter of the Columbus Historic Foundation, and John Laws, a retired local pharmacist, were named recipients of the honorary award.

With all the support Columbus AFB is given from the base community, Colonel Wilson said it was difficult to narrow it down to just three people.

"These three individuals have extraordinarily taken care of the Airmen here," said Colonel Wilson.

"Everyday, Chuck Bigelow can be found with our lieutenants or young Airmen at the marina and all the great things this community has. He is also one of General Looney's civic leaders on his command group and he speaks directly with General Looney about things that we can improve both at the base and in the community.

"Nancy Carpenter takes care of all of our Airmen and their spouses," Colonel Wilson said. "There is nothing we can ask that she won't do for us. We can pick up the phone in a moment's notice and she will take families and friends and explain Columbus, the importance of our mission and how this is a great team."

"John Laws has been an honorary commander for both the civil engineer squadron and now for the ops group. He treats our Airmen like nobody's business. He supports our Airmen and their families."

The Columbus Wingman Award program was established in November 1993 by Gen. Robert Foglesong. The award is an honorary designation that recognizes outstanding members of the community who have made exceptional contributions to the base. Recipients of this award have worked continuously to enhance the well being of the base community, as well as to ensure the effectiveness of the overall mission of the 14th FTW.

Columbus AFB now has more than 20 Wingmen. (Courtesy of the 14th Flying Training Wing)