JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- With Master Sgt. John A. Chapman’s family, friends and fellow Airmen in attendance, the Chapman Training Annex name will officially be unveiled during a ceremony here March 4, 2020.
The ceremony will be streamed live beginning at 10 a.m. central time on the U.S. Air Force Facebook page, as well as on DVIDS. U.S. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen A. Wilson will be the keynote speaker at the event.
Previously called the Medina Training Annex, the annex located right outside of JBSA-Lackland is being renamed in honor of the Medal of Honor recipient and Air Force combat controller killed in action during the Battle of Takur Ghar, Afghanistan, in 2002.
At the time of his death, Chapman, then a technical sergeant assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron at Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina, was a member of a reconnaissance operation team in Takur Ghar, Afghanistan in conjunction with Operation Anaconda.
On Mar. 4, 2002, the team’s helicopter was attacked by enemy fighters with heavy machine-guns leading to a team member falling. Chapman and his team volunteered to go back and save the Airman. He stormed an enemy bunker, cleared the position and moved from cover to engage another enemy machine gun emplacement.
During this second assault, Chapman was struck and injured by enemy fire. Even with severe, mortal wounds, he continued to fight against multiple enemy fighters that led to his death.
In August 2018, Chapman was posthumously awarded the nation’s highest award for valor and heroism, becoming the fourth-ever Air Force enlisted Airmen to earn the Medal of Honor.
“Chapman Training Annex will serve as a reminder not only to special warfare trainees, but to all Airmen who train here, of the service, heroism, and ultimate sacrifice of Master Sgt. John Chapman,” said Col. Parks Hughes, Special Warfare Training Wing commander. “This ceremony pays tribute to an Airman who represents the best of our Air Force, who gave his life fighting to save his teammates.”
Media unable to attend the event but interested in interviewing Col. Hughes on March 3, please contact (210) 652-9328 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.