KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss.-- Coming together to share opportunities is a cornerstone for Keesler and its partners to accelerate change and take on the mission.
From the sister services and programs on base to the organizations of the community and beyond, Keesler’s partnerships have provided a culture of innovation.
“We learn from the time we enter the military that we are part of a team,” said Col. Chance Geray, 81st Training Group commander. “We fight and train together. Several of our courses train joint service members from all services, as well as allies and coalition forces with more than 10 different countries. Diverse service cultures makes training more rewarding and puts us in the right team mindset as we are part of a larger culture, the Profession of Arms.”
The 81st Training Wing’s collaborations with institutions such as Mississippi State, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Central Florida and more have become key in innovating the training possibilities for students and Airmen across Mississippi.
“The 81st TRG has several partnerships, local and across the nation,” said Geray. “Projects including an accelerator that uses artificial intelligence, new cyber ranges and the Mississippi Cyber Center are prominent examples of our developing capabilities. Our special relationship with Mississippi is part of a larger cyber initiative with long-term partnership goals that not only enhances cyber training at Keesler but shares cybersecurity training and opportunities across state agencies, academia and industry.”
“The community’s support to our leadership and Airmen is fundamental,” said Brian Thompson, 81st TRW director of staff. “They put us in the best position to produce warfighters for our Air Force. Collaborating with Harrison County and local academic institutions mutually benefits us all. Their support contributes straight into our mission.”
Keesler’s relationships with the city of Biloxi and local agencies and institutions improve not just the base, but the city as a whole.
“We have begun constructing a new gate on base, improving the traffic of the area, and share resources with agencies such as the Harrison County Police Department and local fire stations,” said Thompson. “Building our mission brings more people to Mississippi and ultimately boosts the economic and capabilities to the state.”
As Keesler modernizes training and reaches new possibilities, the efforts in unity continue to grow.
“Good partnerships are mutually beneficial,” said Geray. “They allow us to do things we wouldn’t normally experience or take advantage of opportunities that we normally wouldn’t have available to us. We don’t fight alone and we shouldn’t train alone. Our mission partners allow us to train with the latest technology while sharing best practices for teaching, no matter the career field. Sharing this effort with mission partners allows Keesler to accelerate learning as a team, because everyone has a role in ensuring the safety, security, and success of our nation.”