14th FTW inducts newest honorary commanders during ceremony

  • Published
  • By Airman Davis Donaldson
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
The 14th Flying Training Wing hosted an induction ceremony Jan. 21 at the Club on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, to recognize its newest honorary commanders.

The Honorary Commander Program strengthens the relationship between the wing and the surrounding community. The program connects the Air Force base and the community in a more intimate and personal way, forming relationships that allow both entities to learn and grow together.

As honorary commanders, local leaders will be fully immersed in the Air Force culture and experience the wing’s mission of cultivating, creating pilots and connecting first hand; while in turn, military commanders will gain more insight into the culture of the surrounding region.

Retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Thomas Moore was the guest speaker for the induction ceremony. He shared words of gratefulness and encouragement for the new honorary commanders.

“If you don’t know about aviation, we don’t go anywhere in combat without a wingman,” Moore said. “You are always with someone looking out for your six and the enemy. This program established here in Columbus brought together a number of members of the community and our job is took look out for our elite aircraft.”

Moore said he and his wife spent a lot of time in the West Coast, East Coast and Hawaii. During his travels, he said he has never seen a base-community relationship as strong as the one between Columbus AFB and the City of Columbus.

To close his speech, Moore gave a last motivating remark to the honorary commander inductees.

“As you step in as honorary commanders, your part of a program that is ongoing right now and by bringing you in, we think it will enhance the base and certainly enhance the community relations,” Moore said. “You will gain an understanding what our Airmen do for our nation each and every day.”

After Moore’s speech, Col. Samantha Weeks, 14th FTW commander, spoke about her vision for the Honorary Commander Program going forward.

Weeks said in most cases around the county, the public has very little direct interaction with the military, and she hopes this program provides the new commanders an understanding of what the wing and base does on a daily basis.

“We hope this is a two-way relationship where we can learn as much about your job and role in the community,” Weeks said. “Our goal is to make the Golden Triangle Region even better with our partnerships and teamwork together.”

Following Weeks’ remarks, the new honorary commanders along with previous ones, Columbus AFB Wingmen and other community partners were able to socialize and network.