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Grissom ARB selects Chancellor Harris as "Honorary Wing Commander"

January 11, 2012

KOKOMO, Ind. – Indiana University Kokomo Chancellor Michael Harris has been selected as the “Honorary Wing Commander 2012” by Grissom Air Force Reserve Base officials. Harris will assume duties at a special ceremony on Sunday, February 12, at Grissom.

chancellor_at_grissom_smallCol. Bryan Reinhart, 434th Air Refueling Wing vice commander, talks with Chancellor Harris and State Rep. Bill Friend. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew McLaughlin)“A committee of public affairs officials and base commanders met to select community leaders and rank them in order for this program,” said Lt. Col. Gary Lockard, chief of public affairs. “Honorary Wing Commander is the most prestigious of the seven honorary commanders chosen.”

Grissom ARB met Chancellor Harris during a civic leader air refueling flight last year, and recognized at that time he “could be an outstanding person” for the honorary commander program.

“I am truly honored and delighted to serve as Honorary Wing Commander, to have this opportunity to represent IU Kokomo and the community, to learn and share my experience with others,” said Harris. “I have tremendous respect for the men and women at Grissom and their daily commitment. They daily engage in exercises and front-line operations worldwide to protect our democracy, values and our freedom while putting themselves at risk. In addition, their presence is vital to the economic and social wellbeing of North Central Indiana.

“We are fortunate to have Grissom Base here in north central Indiana,” he added.

Grissom ARB has a long history of interaction with civic and community leaders and the honorary commanders program is a valuable part of the base’s outreach activities.


With this program, select individuals from the community are matched with Grissom’s key commanders. The goal is to provide the honorary commanders with a rare, inside look at the base, its mission, and its people. The honorary commanders will then take their experiences at Grissom and share them with others from their respective communities.

Harris joined 20 state legislators on Wednesday, August 17, 2011, for an air refueling flight. Harris joined the cockpit crew of the KC-135R Stratotanker during take off, and participated in the refueling of a RC-135 Rivet Joint from Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Learn more about Grissom at www.grissom.afrc.af.mil.

Grissom ARB is one of only five Air Force Reserve Command bases in the nation and is home to reserve units from the Air Force, Army and Marine Corps. The host unit is the 434th Air Refueling Wing which is equipped with a fleet of KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft.

Grissom’s announcement listing all the commanders can be read here http://www.grissom.afrc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123285428.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 01/06/2015