Bridging the Gap: Honorary commanders visit MacDill

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jenay Randolph
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

The 6th Air Mobility Wing (AMW) collaborated with the 927th Air Refueling Wing (ARW) to host its second honorary-commanders’ immersion, Sept. 9, 2016, at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

The 6th Medical Group hosted the first immersion last December. This year, however, the commanders visited the 6th Operations Group (OG).

“The immersion allows us to come together and show the total force integration, which is unique in that the community normally doesn’t get to see how total force integration works to accomplish the overall mission,” said Col. William Stowe, commander of the 6th OG. "We were also able to show them how our base operations are conducted first-hand and the importance of its role."

The immersion began with opening remarks from Col. April Vogel, commander of the 6th AMW, Col. Michael Remualdo, commander of the 927th ARW, Col. William Stowe III, commander of the 6th OG, and Col. William Rolocut, commander of the 927th OG.

“About 15 to 20 percent of the reservists at the wing are full time and work side-by-side with our active duty Airmen,” said Vogel. “Today, you will be able to see our base operations and see how important it is that we work together [reservists and active duty] to achieve overall refueling and airlift mission.”

During the immersion, the honorary commanders visited the 927th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, the 6th Operations Support Squadron (OSS) survival specialists, and the air traffic control tower. At each stop honorary commanders’ received a little experience of the daily operations and learned more about what each unit does.

"This is my first immersion and I think this is a great way for us as local community leaders to understand what the members of MacDill do to help our country and see the mission accomplished up close," said Kelly Flannery, CEO of the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce and honorary commander of the 6th OSS.

The honorary commander program is used to educate civic leaders about the mission of Team MacDill, and to create partnerships with the community. This allows Team MacDill to share experiences and learn from members of the local community.

"With MacDill being a huge pillar in the local community, I feel it is our job to be advocates and ambassadors for our service members, and with this experience, we are allowed to have a better understanding of just how important our military counterparts are," said Flannery. "I really enjoyed this experience and am so honored to have such a great partnership with Team MacDill."