President Biden arrives at Maxwell Air Force Base to visit weapons system manufacturer

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Rhonda Smith
  • Air University Public Affairs

Upon arrival, the President was greeted by Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed, Lt Gen James Hecker, the Commander and President of Air University, and the Maxwell Air Force Base Commander, Colonel Eries Mentzer.

The Biden Administration is providing additional security assistance to support Ukraine to include Javelin anti-tank missiles manufactured in Troy, Alabama.

The 42nd Air Base Wing played a leading role delivering seamless, world-class installation support for President Biden’s first visit to Alabama since being elected.

The base partnered with White House and key advance teams to prepare for President Biden’s visit, including supporting Marine One, the helicopters responsible for transporting the President. In appreciation for the support, twelve exemplar Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex Airmen received incentive flights on MV-22B Ospreys during preparation for the visit. 

“The partner interaction on events like this is amazing,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Troutman, 42nd Communications Squadron Commander and the 42nd Air Base Wing lead for the visit. “The integration with advance teams and local community partners was outstanding and provided Team Maxwell an incredible opportunity to showcase the base while supporting our Commander-in-Chief. We learned a great deal, developed great professional connections, and can now apply this experience to our daily missions.”

Prior to departure, President Biden recognized five outstanding Total Force Airmen from Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex and thanked them for their service:

  • 1st Lt. Radrequia Finley, 187th Fighter Wing executive officer
  • Tech. Sgt. Frantz Jean-Baptiste, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center maintenance information systems database manager
  • Staff Sgt. Janie Murray, 357th Airlift Squadron flight engineer and 908th Airlift Wing Development and Training flight chief
  • Senior Airman Adien Lundquist, 42nd Comptroller Squadron financial technician
  • Senior Airman Jackson Manske, Air University Public Affairs

“Team Maxwell was honored to host President Biden, Congresswoman Terri Sewell, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Christopher Grady in support of their Alabama visit,” said Col Eries Mentzer, 42nd ABW Commander. “We are grateful for the opportunity to highlight Team Maxwell-Gunter Total Force Airmen and the incredible City of Montgomery and River Region community partnerships that enable the United States Air Force and United States Space Force accession and advanced education missions at Air University.”

In commemoration of his visit, President Biden received a replica of the Maxwell Air Force Base Rosa Parks “Opening Eyes” sculpture by Ian Mangum showcasing the exceptional base-community partnership that have changed Maxwell Air Force Base, the City of Montgomery, and the nation for the better.