Team Edwards recently welcomed civic leaders from surrounding communities during the Honorary Commanders Program induction ceremony held at Club Muroc’s Alliance Ballroom.
Brig. Gen. Michael T. Brewer, 412th Test Wing commander and Chief Master Sgt. Brian D. Randolph, 412th TW command chief, hosted the event that introduced the honorary commanders to their respective group and squadron commanders.
“The Honorary Commanders Program is one of our key interfaces with the community. We want to join folks up with a commander so you can learn about what it is that we do on base. This provides opportunities for you to come out and join us and see some cool stuff,” said Brewer.
“This is also an opportunity for us to go and see how things are done in the city. It’s an opportunity to learn from the community,” he added.
The primary objective of the Honorary Commanders Program is to provide Edwards commanders with the capability to develop, promote and maintain a continuous working partnership with the surrounding communities.
This program is an avenue for community partner leaders to learn about Air Force mission, personnel, programs and operations. Likewise, base commanders and personnel will benefit from continued cooperation with the community and its key leaders.
For Col. Lawrence M. Hoffman, United States Air Force Test Pilot School commandant, and his honorary commander, Scott Seymour, the general manager of the Inyokern Airport; the program provides a unique avenue to better understand each other’s flying missions, which are both located within the R-2508 Complex restricted airspace.
“This is a great opportunity to get a better understanding of each other’s mission. The better we understand each other’s flying missions, the better we can work together to use this valuable airspace. This is important because here, at Edwards, we are very interested in being good neighbors and being involved with the local community,” said Hoffman.
These mutually beneficial partnerships play an important role in strengthening relationships with surrounding communities and their leaders.
“It’s also great to learn about some of the same challenges we share; in terms of limited resources, sharing airspace for flying missions and the local economies and how we can best support each other. The program is a huge benefit to both the base and surrounding communities. I’m very glad that General Brewer has made this a priority,” said Hoffman.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Scott and I’m excited to get to know him and his family. That’s another great benefit of this program,” he added.
The induction ceremony introduced the following Edwards leaders with their civilian counterparts:
- From the 412th Operations Group, Col. Chris Azzano and his Honorary Commander, Steve Finnegan. Finnegan is the manager for Government and Legislative Affairs at the Automobile Club of Southern California.
- From the 412th Operations Support Squadron, Lt. Col. Ryan Osteroos and his Honorary Commander, Jaque Hickman. Hickman is the Lone Pine Airport fixed base operator and Inyo County civic leader.
- From the 411th Flight Test Squadron, Lt. Col. Daron Drown and his Honorary Commander, Rod Van Norman. Van Norman is a retired superintendent for Southern Kern Unified School District.
- From the 412th Flight Test Squadron, Lt. Col. Matthew Fritz and his Honorary Commander, Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre. Hackbarth-McIntyre is the mayor of Barstow, Calif.
- From the 419th Flight Test Squadron, Lt. Col. Jason Wierzbanowski and his Honorary Commander, Matthew Winheim. Winheim is the assistant headmaster at the Palmdale Aerospace Academy.
- From the 445th Flight Test Squadron, Lt. Col. Christopher Spinelli and his Honorary Commander, Ron Emard. Emard is the owner of Antelope Valley Harley Davidson.
- From the 412th Maintenance Group, Col. Robby Weaver and his Honorary Commander, Steve Irving. Irving is the manager at General William J. Fox Airport.
- From the 412th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Maj. Larry Tanksley and his Honorary Commander, Julie Swayze. Swayze is the development associate for Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy and secretary for the Edwards Air Force Base Civilian Military Support Group.
- From the 412th Electronic Warfare Group, Col. Kevin Muckerheide and his Honorary Commander, the Honorable Dick Spann. Spann is a U.S. Superior Court judge.
- From the 412th Test Management Group, Chuck Irving and his Honorary Commander, Dave Childs. Childs is the city manager for Palmdale.
- From the 412th Test Wing Fire Protection, Michael Hurles and his Honorary Commander, Capt. Scott Polgar. Polgar is the fire prevention officer for the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
- From 412th Test Wing Environmental Management, Randy Beckett and his Honorary Commander, Bret Banks. Banks is the operations manager for the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District.
- From the United States Air Force Test Pilot School, Col. Lawrence Hoffman and his Honorary Commander, Scott Seymour. Seymour is the general manager of the Inyokern Airport.
- From the 412th Mission Support Group, Col. Robert Hoff and his Honorary Commander, Anne Ambrose. Ambrose is the Director of Public Safety and Community Relations for Palmdale.
- From the 412th Force Support Squadron, Alexander Kovras and his Honorary Commander, Joudi Alsaady. Alsaady is a restaurant owner.
- From the 412th Security Forces Squadron, Lt. Col. Kris Zhea and his Honorary Commander, Capt. Paul Foley. Foley is the commander of Operations and Training for the Arcadia Police Department.
- From the 412th Communications Squadron, Lt. Col. Keith Repik and his Honorary Commander, George Nagy. Nagy is the president of Mojave Desert Bank and the Edward Air Force Base Civilian Military Support Group director.
- From the 412th Medical Group, Col. Stephen Donaldson and his Honorary Commander, Judy Cooperberg. Cooperberg is the executive director for the Antelope Valley Services for Mental Health.
- From the 412th Civil Engineering Squadron, James Judkins and his Honorary Commander, Michelle Cantrell. Cantrell is the city engineer for Lancaster.
- From the Air Force Research Laboratory, Col. Michael Platt and his Honorary Commander, Dr. David Vierra. Vierra is the Superintendent of the Antelope Valley Union High School District.
- From the 412th Test Engineering Group, Paul Tierney and his Honorary Commander, Jack Connell. Connell is the executive director of the China Lake Alliance.