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Open House brings community to Alabama ANG, fosters relationships

  • Published
  • By Airman First Class Hayden Johnson
  • 187th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Approximately 1,100 members of the community attended the first day of the Tuskegee Airmen Legacy Open House July 14, on base.

The two-day event was a partnership with the Alabama Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force, National Park Service, Golden Eagle Aviation, the Legacy Flight Academy, and the CAF Red Tail Squadron.

"It was a true partnership among all of us," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Paul Griggs, the 187th Force Support Squadron commander and project officer for the open house. "It could not have been accomplished without the great teamwork from everyone."

Many unit members with the 187th Fighter Wing each did their part to ensure the day's success, said Griggs. With the high attendance from the community, it took not only the unit's efforts but also the city of Montgomery and other vendors participation.

"It is vitally important to form and cultivate partnerships, and strengthen these relationships with stakeholders in the community," Griggs said. "I would say it is essential to our existence.

"We are very fortunate to be surrounded by a community and local government that is incredibly supportive of our mission at the 187th Fighter Wing. We wanted to display to our community partners that we are open for business, and we encourage non-military partners to come take a look at how our wing benefit's the local community, state and country with air power," Griggs said.

Opening the base to the community and continuing these partnerships provides an opportunity for recruiters to come into contact with those who may be interested in what the Alabama ANG has to offer.

"To have an event like this fosters community relationships," said Master Sgt. Mark Word, the 187th Fighter Wing recruiting office supervisor. "It lets them know we are here to serve them."

Providing more events like this in the future will continue the strong relationship with the community, government and area schools, expanding the Guard's reach, said Griggs. 

"I am proud of our wing's mission, and our contribution to our community," Griggs said. "I hope every wing member feels the same and will tell their friends and family about their story of how the Alabama ANG has changed their lives for the better."