Senator Donnelly staff visits Grissom

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Katrina Heikkinen
  • 434th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
“We’ll listen, take this message and we’re going to amplify it,” was an often repeated phrase as congressional staffers toured the base.

Senator Joe Donnelly’s staff members, Michael Hermann and John Galer, as well as Brig. Gen. Kip Clark, Indiana Air National Guard assistant adjutant general and chief of staff, and Jerry Hadley, Indiana ANG state operations director, got a hands-on experience of the Hoosier Wing during a base tour here Aug. 7.

During the tour, staffers had the opportunity to meet with 434th ARW leadership, as well as receive a mission briefing, which served as an opportunity to showcase Grissom’s accolades and achievements.

“It’s always great when we have an opportunity to show off the men and women of the 434th Air Refueling Wing to our elected leaders and their staff,” said Col. Larry Shaw, 434th ARW commander. “I’m always proud when people have a chance to see the KC-135R Stratotankers we have here and the amazing things Grissom does.”

The staffers’ visit was followed by a wind-shield tour, where Shaw demonstrated potential for Grissom’s infrastructural growth. They also had a hands-on experience of Grissom’s training technology, with an opportunity to get inside the boom operator weapons systems trainer, as well as meet Reserve Marines.

“I think Senator Donnelly’s staff left with a better understanding of the base, our mission and our needs,” said Douglas Hays, 434th ARW public affairs operations chief. “They all asked how they can improve the lives of our Citizen Airmen and I know they’ll go back and spread Grissom’s message.”

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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