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445th AW inducts honorary commanders, builds community relations

Commanders from 445th Airlift Wing and 655th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing pose for a group for with their honorary commanders, Sept. 6, 2019. Eighteen members from the surrounding communities were officially designated as honorary commanders in an official ceremony.

Commanders from 445th Airlift Wing and 655th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing pose for a group for with their honorary commanders, Sept. 6, 2019. Eighteen members from the surrounding communities were officially designated as honorary commanders in an official ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Darrell Sydnor)

Suzanne Winter, WENCO Construction and honorary commander of the 87th Aerial Port Squadron receives the 87th APS guidon from Col. Shawn Werchan, 445th Airlift Wing vice commander, at the wing’s honorary commanders induction ceremony, Sept. 6, 2019. Eighteen members from the surrounding communities were officially designated as honorary commanders.

Suzanne Winter, WENCO Construction and honorary commander of the 87th Aerial Port Squadron receives the 87th APS guidon from Col. Shawn Werchan, 445th Airlift Wing vice commander, at the wing’s honorary commanders induction ceremony, Sept. 6, 2019. Eighteen members from the surrounding communities were officially designated as honorary commanders. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Erin Zimpfer)

Paul Schlottman, Director of Strategic Initiatives at the University of Dayton and honorary commander for the 445th Force Support Squadron, talks to Staff Sgt. Cody Green, 89th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, during a C-17 Globemaster III tour Sept. 6, 2019. Eighteen members from the surrounding communities were officially designated as honorary commanders in an official ceremony.

Paul Schlottman, Director of Strategic Initiatives at the University of Dayton and honorary commander for the 445th Force Support Squadron, talks to Staff Sgt. Cody Green, 89th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, during a C-17 Globemaster III tour Sept. 6, 2019. Eighteen members from the surrounding communities were officially designated as honorary commanders in an official ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Darrell Sydnor)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio --

The 445th Airlift Wing hosted its inaugural honorary commanders induction ceremony Sept. 6, 2019.  Eighteen members from the surrounding communities were officially designated as honorary commanders in an official ceremony.

This is the initial launch of what is slated to be an annual program designed to increase public awareness and understanding of the armed forces and the mission, policies and programs of the Air Force as well as to highlight the dedication and hard work displayed by members of the 445th AW and 655th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing.

A civilian counterpart for each squadron, wing or group was selected and then approved by the 445th Airlift Wing commander. The 20 civilians chosen for the inaugural year include area business leaders, educators, bank executives, manufacturing officials, and city and county officials.

At the induction ceremony, the honorees were ceremoniously presented with the corresponding guidon for their assigned squadron, group or wing by the 445th AW vice commander, Col. Shawn Werchan and the 655th IRSW commander, Col. John McKaye. They were presented certificates from their specific commander or a designated representative. The new “commanders” were then served lunch, followed by time to explore their appointed squadron with their military commanders, and a tour of a C-17 Globemaster III.

During the upcoming year, the honorary commanders will be invited to participate in various wing activities and special events. The honorees are encouraged to invite their military commander to their organization’s activities as well.

This program encourages positive relationships with the designees and fortifies Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the 445th AW and 655th ISRW as favorable members of the surrounding communities.