42nd Air Base Wing inducts Honorary Commanders

Colonel Melissa Stone, vice commander of the 42nd Air Base Wing, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, congratulates her Honorary Commander, Jay Thompson, chairman of the Autauga, Alabama, County Commission, during the Honorary Commander Induction Ceremony at the Maxwell Club, June 19, 2018. (Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Patrick Brown)

Colonel Melissa Stone, vice commander of the 42nd Air Base Wing, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, congratulates her Honorary Commander, Jay Thompson, chairman of the Autauga, Alabama, County Commission, during the Honorary Commander Induction Ceremony at the Maxwell Club, June 19, 2018. (Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Patrick Brown)

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --

The 42nd Air Base wing inducted 13 new Honorary Commanders and recognized four currently serving Honorary Commanders at a ceremony at the Maxwell Club, June 19, 2018.

The Honorary Commanders Program is a public affairs’ initiative designed to engage, educate and empower community leaders to be advocates for the Air Force, Airmen and their families. It pairs civic leaders with military commanders and senior enlisted members.

Additionally, this program allows local civic and corporate leaders to gain insight and experience with the military by building professional relationships with Air Force leaders.

“I’m honored to be part of this program,” said David Lewis, general director of the Prattville, Alabama, YMCA. “Maxwell is an integral part of the River Region, and the opportunity to learn more about the missions and people here will reinforce the bonds between the base and the outlying communities.” Lewis is partnered with Chief Master Sgt. Hamp Lee III, superintendent of the 42nd Mission Support Group.

Honorary Commanders serve as advisors, key communicators and advocates for Air Force issues. They provide ideas and feedback to commanders as to how Air Force missions can be best accomplished, as well as monitoring public attitudes toward the Air Force and its missions.

“We are very grateful to have such terrific Honorary Commanders from across the River Region as part of our team,” said Col. Melissa Stone, 42nd Air Base Wing Vice Commander, who is partnered with Jay Thompson, chairman of the Autauga, Alabama, County Commission.

“These men and women come from a wide variety of backgrounds and organizations, and they bring diverse and valuable perspectives to our units,” she said. “Programs like this strengthen the already strong ties between the military and civilian communities by building mutual respect and personal connections. We are thankful for such an amazing group.”