927th ARW honorary commanders immersed in the Total Force mission

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Alexis Suarez
  • 927th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The 927th Air Refueling Wing, a Reserve component of the U.S. Air Force, relies greatly on the support gained through partnerships with the Tampa Bay community. 

The honorary commander program at the 927th ARW strives to educate community leaders on the wing’s mission and foster strong supportive relationships for our Citizen Airmen.

On May 12, more than 15 civic leaders from the Tampa Bay community participated in a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft refueling mission and received a tour of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla.

Before departing from MacDill, U.S. Air Force Col. Kurt Matthews, 927th ARW commander, welcomed the wing’s honorary commanders and thanked them for being an asset to the wing and its Airmen.

“Our honorary commander program is one of the best I’ve seen and has been recognized above the wing level,” said Matthews. “Many of you know so much about our wing already and your support is highly appreciated.”

The honorary commanders were talked through the flight plan that included the refueling of three F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft from the 482nd Fighter Wing, landing at Homestead ARB and receiving a base tour before returning to MacDill.

“It is such a privilege to be able to see the refueling mission from the boom pod,” said Nancy Newkirk, 927th ARW honorary commander. “Hearing stories and seeing the mission makes you appreciate it that much more.”

The honorary commander’s tour at Homestead ARB honed in on the Total Force aspect of the military.

The 125th Fighter Wing from the Florida Air National Guard performed a simulated fighter aircraft alert “scramble”, U.S. Special Operations Command South gave a mission briefing and showed their memorial site, and the U.S. Coast Guard’s Maritime Safety and Security Team ended the day with a mission briefing and allowed the honorary commanders to step inside a response boat.

The honorary commanders left with greater insight of the mission of the 927th ARW – “Combat ready Citizen Airmen fueling the fight.”