JOINT BASE LEWIS MCCHORD, Wa. -- The Western Air Defense Sector welcomed its 2022-2024 honorary commander, Ashley Krebs, during an assumption of command ceremony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Sept. 29, 2022. Krebs is the marketing director for the Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse in Sumner.
Honorary commanders are local community leaders who come from various backgrounds and play a key role in continuing to strengthen ties between the military and the local community.
The Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse has been strengthening its ties with the military for years while being a member of the Pierce Military and Business Alliance (PMBA) whose mission is to support the morale, welfare, readiness and retention of local military units and servicemembers.
Now Krebs has the opportunity to develop an even deeper relationship with the members of the Western Air Defense Sector and learn more about how WADS guards America’s skies 24/7/365 and how the Washington Air National Guard supports its local communities.
During the Team McChord Honorary Commanders Ceremony, U.S. Air Force Col. David Fazenbaker, commander of the 62d Airlift Wing said, “The purpose of this program is twofold, first, to educate and foster a supportive relationship with the local community, second to increase involvement in civic endeavors and bolster community connections with Team McChord.”
Across the Air Force, the Honorary Commander Program provides a platform to inform and educate about Department of Defense missions and develop supportive relationships with the community. In recent years, common duties of an Honorary Commander include visiting McChord Field, learning about the mission, participating in base functions and expressing their views on issues of mutual concern.
“We are lucky to live in an amazing community here in the Pacific Northwest, a community as diverse as our Air Force,” Fazenbaker said, “We have a diverse group of honorary commanders from various parts of this community, and I look forward to the partnerships we will build with each other.”
The Honorary Commander Program isn't just about civic leaders becoming involved in military affairs; it also focuses on increasing military involvement in public endeavors and city organizations that will bring unit comradery to the local community.
“The outstanding Airmen of Team McChord are motivated and ready to learn from your leadership and experiences,” Fazenbaker said, “We are proud and grateful to have you as a part of our organization”
Each honorary commander term lasts up to two years. The Air Force’s goal of creating one-on-one mission-based learning opportunities within these partnerships is something Team McChord is honored to be a part of.
The 2022-2024 Honorary Commanders for Team McChord are:
Western Air Defense Sector commander – Ashley Krebs, marketing manager for The Old Cannery
62d Airlift Wing commander - Mary Moss, deputy mayor for the City of Lakewood
62d Airlift Wing vice commander – Andrea Reay, president/CEO of Tacoma-Pierce Chamber of Commerce
4th Airlift Squadron commander – Matthew Hayes, president/CEO of the Museum of Flight, Seattle
5th Air Support Operations Squadron commander – Dr. Lance Goodpaster, superintendent of the Franklin Pierce School District
7th Airlift Squadron commander – Mike Runion, president/CEO of 7 Seas Brewing Co.
8th Airlift Squadron commander – Todd McLaughlin, manager of E9 Brewing Co.
627th Communications Squadron commander – Adam Cook, director of Tacoma Venues and Events
627th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander – Thomas Embleton, senior manager of FedEx
627th Civil Engineer Squadron commander – Mike Cannon, president/CEO of Cannon Companies
627th Force Support Squadron commander – Brenda Rogers, vice president of the Board of Directors, Bethel School District
62d Maintenance Squadron commander – Dave Bugher, community economic development director of the City of Lakewood
62d Aerial Port Squadron – Sean Eagan, government affairs director for the Port of Tacoma
62d Operations Group commander – Tim Mensonides, manager of the Auburn Municipal Airport
62d Maintenance Group commander – Dr. Joyce Loveday, president of Clover Park Technical College
1st Air Support Operations Group commander – Kelly Benson, interim executive director for Pierce College at Joint Base Lewis-McChord
446th Airlift Wing commander – Edna Shim, senior director of Regional Government Affairs & Community Relations, Seattle Children’s Hospital
361st Recruiting Squadron commander – Dr. Julie White, president of Pierce College Fort Steilacoom
62d Airlift Wing command chief – Jaimie Garrett, senior loan consultant with Caliber Home Loans
62d Operations Support Squadron commander – Sen. T’wina Nobles, Washington state senator and president/CEO of Tacoma Urban League
62d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander – Josh Dunn, founder/CEO of Premier Media
62d Comptroller Squadron commander – AJ Gordon, vice president of the South Sound Commercial Banking division, Banner Bank
627th Security Forces Squadron commander – Carl Cole, city manager for the city of SeaTac
62d Medical Squadron commander – Bill Robertson, president/CEO of MultiCare Health System
627th Air Base Group commander – Jeremiah Visaya, general manager with Titus-Will Ford of Lakewood