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AZ Air Guard Hosts Second Biennial Honorary Commander Induction Ceremony

Col. John Rummel, 161st Air Refueling Wing Medical Group Squadron commander, passes the guidon to Mr. Steve Purves during the Honorary Commander Induction ceremony,
Nov. 2. During the ceremony, six honorary commanders were inducted. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Anthony Reynolds)

Col. John Rummel, 161st Air Refueling Wing Medical Group Squadron commander, passes the guidon to Mr. Steve Purves during the Honorary Commander Induction ceremony, Nov. 2. During the ceremony, six honorary commanders were inducted. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Anthony Reynolds)

161st Air Refueling Wing Honorary Commander inductees pose for a group photo during the induction ceremony, Jan. 11. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Anthony Reynolds)

161st Air Refueling Wing Honorary Commander inductees pose for a group photo during the induction ceremony, Jan. 11. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Anthony Reynolds)s)

GOLDWATER AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ariz. -- Honorary Commanders were welcomed during an induction ceremony here, January 11th, as part of a two-year program that promotes base ambassadorship.

The purpose of the 161st Air Refueling Wing’s Honorary Commander Program is to educate community leaders about the Arizona Air National Guard and the Goldwater Air National Guard Base.

The biennial ceremony was the second of its kind at the wing.

The program pairs leaders with specific units for the purposes of enhancing supportive community relationships, and increase military involvement in civic ventures and organizations.
During their two-year tenure, Honorary Commanders will being invited to multiple events, which will allow them to meet installation leaders and learn the inner-workings of the base operations.

Col. Patrick Donaldson said to the new class of Honorary Commanders, “Thank you very much for your willingness to serve; your wisdom to understand that this thing called Common Defense takes both those in uniform and those out of uniform to make this all happen.”

The Honorary Commanders will have an opportunity to interact with group and squadron personnel to learn more about the Air National Guard and the wing’s mission.

The following community leaders were inducted as the installation’s first Honorary Commanders:
Mr. Steve Leach, 161st Air Refueling Wing Honorary Commander Inductee
Mr. Robert Vega, 161st Air Refueling Wing Honorary Command Chief Inductee
Mr. Matthew Lamont, 161st Operations Group Honorary Commander Inductee
Mr. Bob Bambauer, 161st Operations Support Squadron Honorary Commander Inductee
Mr. Frank Shankwitz, 161st Maintenance Group Honorary Commander Inductee
Mr. Ralph Marchetta, 161st Mission Support Group Honorary Commander Inductee
Mr. Steve Purves, 161st Medical Group Commander Honorary Commander Inductee