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Newest Wingman Award winners named
Then 14th Flying Training Wing Commander Col. Roger Watkins and his wife Leslie pose with his Wingman Award recipients Mike Hainsey and his spouse Brenda (left) and Paul Swain and his guest Linda McKenzie (right) after the Wingman Dinner Monday night at the Columbus Club. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Sonic Johnson)
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Newest Wingman Award winners named

Posted 7/30/2010   Updated 7/30/2010 Email story   Print story


by Sonic Johnson
Chief, 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

7/30/2010 - COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- In one of his last acts as the 14th Flying Training Wing Commander, Col. Roger Watkins named the recipients of his Columbus AFB Wingman Award at a formal dinner Monday night at the Columbus Club.

Colonel Watkins selected Golden Triangle Regional Airport Executive Director Mike Hainsey and local artist Paul Swain as his Wingman Award recipients. Mr. Hainsey and Mr. Swain join 23 others as recipients of this unique honor.

The Columbus Wingman Award is an honorary designation selected by the wing commander that recognizes members of the community who have made exceptional contributions to Columbus Air Force Base and has provided unparalleled support to the wing commander during his command tenure.

Mr. Hainsey is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs, Colo., and served 22 years on active duty in the Air Force and has flight experience in six different Air Force aircraft. He held senior Air Force management positions at various levels during his 22 years of service.

Mr. Hainsey is the cofounder of Dreams On Wings, a charity that provides the thrill of flight for children battling serious illnesses. He has been the Angel Flight of Georgia and the Angel Flight Southeast Pilot of the Year. In 2008 he was named the FAA Southern Region Commercial Service Airport Manager of the Year.

Colonel Watkins cited the airport's support for base weekend flying operations and the support for deploying Airmen in his remarks Monday night.

Mr. Swain is currently retired. Prior to retirement, he was Chief Operating Officer and part owner of Lowndes Mfg. Inc for 20 years. Before that he was on the road as a musician for 28 years. Swain has written one book and is now in the process of writing two more. He writes a weekly column that is syndicated in over 20 newspapers. He is currently the Honorary Commander of the 50th Flying Training Squadron and a Kentucky Colonel. He plays music locally and has a new CD that is to be released shortly.

Colonel Watkins touted his selfless support Swain has given throughout his tenure with both music performances and highlighting many aspects of today's Airmen through his column.

The designation "wingman" comes from the aviation term for a pilot who flies his or her aircraft in formation with another aircraft such that the power and strength of that formation is greater than the sum of its individual parts.

Gen. Robert H. Foglesong established the Columbus Wingman Award in November of 1993 during his time here as 14th FTW commander. He viewed the award as a way to recognize and "give something back" to outstanding members of the local community who have done great work with the base over an extended period of time. These individuals 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 Flying Training Wing.

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