Honorary Commanders and High Rollers work together to create lasting partnerships

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Michelle Brooks
  • 152nd Airlift Wing

RENO, NV -- The 152nd Airlift Wing hosted the first annual meeting with honorary commanders at the Nevada Air National Guard base here December 4, 2021.

The Honorary Commander Program is an Air Force-wide initiative which strives to develop, promote, and provide key community leaders greater exposure to the 152nd Airlift Wing and to the roles Airmen play in supporting our nation’s defense and community.

“The Honorary Commander Program is a great opportunity to build key relationships with civic leaders,” said Col. Jeremy Ford, 152nd Airlift Wing commander, “These relationships strengthen our community and have positive impacts for both the community and our Airmen.”

Honorary commanders Dr. Shamik Sengupta, with University of Nevada, Reno; Jana Elliot, with Renown Regional Medical Center; Britton Griffith, with Reno Engineering Corporation, and Dan Morgan, with InterConnect, served a holiday meal to Airmen at the base dining facility prior to attending the strategic meeting with wing and state leadership.

During the meeting, honorary commanders learned about the wing history and the Airmen they serve. Honorary Commanders reflected on their experiences in their role and discussed strategies with leadership on increasing community awareness and understanding of the 152nd mission.

2nd Lt. Jesse Lemos, 152nd Communications Flight Director of Operations, discussed the relationship the communications flight has built with their honorary commander, Dr. Shamik Sangupta, Executive Director of the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) Cybersecurity Center. The 152nd Communications Flight has been working with UNR students to mutually expand and develop cybersecurity skills.

“Due to this relationship, our Airmen are able to polish their skills with UNR students,” said Lemos. “We’ve gone beyond just a relationship and are actually getting mutual help from one another. We are able to lean forward and use this help to increase our readiness.”

The Nevada Air National Guard currently has six honorary commanders, each serving a respective unit. Honorary commanders serve for a period up to three years and are nominated by members of the Nevada Air National Guard.

“I was very honored to be selected because I feel like it is a small way I can serve the members of the Air National Guard,” said Jana Elliot, 152nd Medical Group honorary commander. “ I look forward to working together to build a partnership to increase community support and awareness.”