Lt. Gen. Robert McMurry (left), Air Force Life Cycle Management Center commander, passes the guidon to Col. Thomas Sherman, as Sherman assumes command of the 88th Air Base Wing during a ceremony inside the National Museum of the U. S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, June 19. Sherman replaced Col. Bradley McDonald. (U.S. Air Force photo/Wesley Farnsworth)

A look back at 2018 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base: Milestones

Compiled by Amy Rollins, Skywrighter Staff

Throughout 2018, there were many significant milestones achieved by numerous organizations across Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Here are some of the milestones, events, awards and other things that contributed to the overall success of missions:


Col. Thomas Sherman accepted command of the 88th Air Base Wing during a ceremony held at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force June 19. Sherman succeeded Col. Bradley McDonald.

The U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, part of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing, celebrated its centennial. On Jan. 19, 1918, the U.S. Army Air Service formally chartered the Medical Research Laboratory at Hazelhurst Field on Long Island, New York. Over the course of a century, that lab became what is today USAFSAM. Additionally, the School of Air Evacuation celebrated its 75th anniversary Aug. 2-3 at USAFSAM with speaking engagements, an aircraft dedication, wreath presentation and graduation ceremony of students attending the flight nurse and technician course.

The meticulously restored B-17F Memphis Belle – the first U.S. Army Air Forces heavy bomber to make it home to the United States after completing 25 successful combat missions over occupied Europe during World War II – was unveiled May 16 before hundreds of people at NMUSAF. It was the first time the famous symbol of the courage and sacrifices made by American bomber crews has been on public display since 2002. Additional events during the three-day exhibit opening celebration included a flyover of WWII-era aircraft, along with more than 160 reenactors and 30 vintage military and civilian vehicles on the museum grounds. On May 17, the public was able to visit the historic aircraft, exactly 75 years after its crew finished their last mission in the war against Nazi Germany on May 17, 1943.

Airmen, foreign military partners and guests gathered at Wright-Patterson AFB June 14 to celebrate 40 years of the Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate providing America’s allies with the weapon systems and support they need to defend their national interests.

Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, retired in September following 40 years of service. As only the third female to attain the rank of four-star general, Pawlikowski had a career marked by extraordinary achievements across each Air Force domain.

Lt. Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr. was nominated by the president for a fourth star to become the next commander of Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson AFB. He currently serves as military deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. The nomination requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

Community Engagement

Wright-Patterson AFB is the community and the community is Wright-Patterson AFB. Airmen from across the base provide thousands of volunteer hours to various private and public organizations and schools throughout the area. Our community partners reciprocate and provide tremendous support in countless ways through military appreciation events at local universities, sporting events, and arts and cultural venues. Events such as Hometown Heroes with the Dayton Dragons; major league football, baseball and hockey sporting events; NCAA collegiate games, including the First Four Hoopla; performing arts at the Victoria Theater, Schuster Center and the Dayton Performance Arts Alliance; and leading new recruits in their oath of enlistment at various venues, have become a staple of the Miami Valley.

Boys and girls from Cub Scout Pack 169, chartered by Saint Peter Catholic Church in Huber Heights, joined personnel from the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army at Wright-Patterson AFB Nov. 30 to deliver nearly $16,000 dollars of popcorn for the local service men and women. Another $15,000 will be shipped overseas to deployed troops. Since August, Boy Scouts have been selling popcorn as a fundraiser at storefronts and door-to-door throughout the Miami Valley. As a part of the sale, a donation of popcorn to the military was available as an option to their popcorn-buying customers. More than $600,000 of popcorn was sold by Miami Valley Scouts, and $31,000 of that amount was designated for a military donation.

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