Honorary Commanders tour life-saving medical facilities

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Brian Swink
  • 433rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Fifteen 433rd Airlift Wing honorary commanders and two alumni toured the new medical facilities available to Reserve Citizen Airmen during a quarterly honorary commander’s tour Oct. 14, 2017.

The purpose of the tour is to better educate the honorary commanders about the mission and capabilities of the 433rd Medical Group. The tour began with a welcome, overview and briefing by Col. Ernest Vasquez, 433rd MDG commander, and other members of the 433rd MDG leadership.

"We are excited to showcase what the men and women of our groups do here in the Alamo Wing," said Vasquez. "These amazing Airmen are members of the San Antonio community who volunteer to serve their country and do it proudly."


The touring group also included a couple of special guests visiting the 433rd AW, Major General Randall Ogden, 4th Air Force commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Timothy White, Jr., 4th Air Force command chief.  They were visiting the 433rd AW for a couple of days and invited to join the honorary commanders on their tour.

The first stop on the tour was the Air Force Postgraduate Dental School & Clinic and to meet members of the 433rd Aerospace Medicine Squadron.  


“It’s amazing what is going on here at the dental facility,” said Tom Long, 433rd Maintenance Group honorary commander from the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation.  “The technology being used is state-of-the-art and the facility is incredible, but most importantly the professionalism of these Airmen is truly remarkable.”

The tour moved to the courtyard outside of the new Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center where the honorary commanders received a briefing from members of the 433rd Aeromedical Staging Squadron Critical Care Air Transport Team. The briefers, led by Maj. Dana Meyer and Maj. Gary Barber, talked about the equipment they use and the types of missions conducted when transporting wounded battlefield service members.


The group then worked their way into Wilford Hall where they received a chance to view many of the areas 433rd AW Airmen have to visit when in-processing to the unit or conducting their annual physicals.


“This experience has been great to see how the medical group works and all the different channels that are involved to keep Airmen active and eligible to continue their mission,” said Ben Swaney, 68th Airlift Squadron honorary commander and The Prestigious Mark, Inc president. “It’s really important for the civilian sector, and the younger generation more specifically, to know what tremendous opportunities are available to them through the Air Force that are transferable to a career outside of the military.”

The Honorary Commanders Program was developed to encourage an exchange of ideas, share experiences and foster friendships between key members of the local civilian community and the Joint Base San Antonio military community.  The program provides a unique opportunity for San Antonio area community leaders to shadow the 433rd AW, group and squadron commanders.

For more information about the Alamo Wing's Honorary Commander's program, contact the 433rd AW Public Affairs office at 925-5194.