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Keesler’s Honorary Commander Program: Enhancing community partnerships

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Devyn Waits
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

Building partnerships between a military installation and the local city fosters collaboration and mutual support that drives Air Power.

At Keesler, the Honorary Commander Program bridges the gap between the community and the installation, allowing community members to gain insights into the installation, the United States Air Force, and the Department of Defense. Participants also have the opportunity to join in base functions and provide insight on issues affecting the communities inside and outside the installation.

By investing time and resources that enhance the quality of life on Keesler, participants not only serve as representatives of the shared community, but as advocates for base personnel and families.

The program is a 1-year term, where participants attend a series of immersion events to develop a deeper understanding of the 81st Training Wing’s mission. They are also invited to socials, changes of command ceremonies as well as base wide events.

When participants graduate as Honorary Commanders, they serve as advocates for Keesler, playing a crucial role in promoting the base's mission and supporting our nation's warfighters.

Col. Billy Pope, Jr., 81st TRW commander, recently announced, “We are now accepting applications for Keesler Air Force Base and the Honorary Commander Program. We enjoy such a rich and warm connection with our local Gulf Coast community. As a squadron commander here on the Gulf Coast, I saw the benefits of the program and continue to witness relationships we’ve created up to this day as a wing commander. If you are ready to truly be a part of Team Keesler, I encourage you to learn more about the program and apply. Team Keesler and I are excited and hope to see an application from you today to join the Dragon family!”