Honorary Commanders immerse with 23rd FG

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Whitney Gillespie
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

The 23rd Fighter Group welcomed their local community counterparts for an immersion tour as part of the 23rd Wing’s Honorary Commander Program, June 21, 2023.


The immersion tour gave key community members a behind-the-scenes look at the FG and underlying squadrons that support the attack aircraft and mission. More importantly, it allowed the local leaders to better understand the impact and role the community plays in Team Moody’s success.


“Our wars are fought, not by machines but by people,” said Capt. Joshua Kisbye, 74th FS A-10C Thunderbolt II pilot. “So, people and the relationships we build are important for enabling (us and the community) to be able to achieve their goals and their objectives which makes it critical to build that relationship with our local community so if there is ever a problem, we have avenues to resolve them quickly.”


During the immersion, honorary commanders had the opportunity to see what a typical day at Moody AFB looks like and to gain a better understanding of airpower capabilities and the Airmen that make it all happen- from aircraft training at the bombing range to the flightline for an up-close look at the A-10C’s the HCCs were able to have first-hand experience of daily operations.


“I believe the purpose of the immersion day is to increase our knowledge,” said Don Luke, Moody AFB honorary commander. “I mean we drive by, we see the fences, we see the people out in the community, but getting to see these people in their environment makes a deeper connection,” he continued. “Anytime you truly want to understand what someone is going through, go spend a day in their world, walk in their shoes and see what they do, it gives you such an understanding.”


Moody’s Honorary Commander Program serves as an ongoing opportunity for commanders and community leaders to foster relationships enabling all participants to absorb and appreciate one another’s environment.


“The integration between the local community, the base and the support they give is critical to our mission,” Kisbye said. “When we are running missions at night and we disturb the peace by being loud, having support from the community that limits complaints makes it easier to do all the things we need to and ensure our nation's safety.”


While the long-standing program educates key community leaders about Team Moody’s mission it also encourages participation and involvement in base events and initiatives, and allows service members to more comfortably call the community their home.


“Every time I go on a new immersion tour, I learn a little more and retain it,” Luke said. “I get to meet new people and be a part of some really cool stuff. “We need Moody here; we want them here and the people here to be successful.”


Key leaders from the local community are hand selected to be a part of the program and although their HCC cycle has a time limitation, they have the opportunity to continue on as alumni advisors for future years of the program. With the intent to create one-on-one opportunities to inform and educate local community leaders about the missions of the United States Air Force, Team Moody hopes the experience also leaves a lasting impression and sense of pride for everyone involved.


“My favorite part of this program is the honor,” said Luke. “Just being trusted to see a piece of what the military men and women do, is an immense honor.”