Over the course of the past four years, I have written articles about participating as an Honorary Commander with the Los Angeles Air Force Base. The mission of the Honorary Commanders Program is twofold; one, to educate key community leaders about a unit’s mission and to foster a supportive relationship with the community, increase military involvement in civic endeavors and organizations and make members of the local community feel part of the unit.

This past week, I was invited to Fort MacArthur by Lt. General John F. Thompson.  Lt. General Thompson greeted my husband and I on the front steps and invited us into his home where we introduced to his wife Ruthann.  

Throughout my tenure as an Honorary Commander with Los Angeles Air Force Base, I was paired with Colonel Thomas R. Rock Jr., Senior Materiel. Leader for the Range and Network Division, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles AFB. Colonel Rock and I collaborated on several activities which introduced me to the Air Force and he to the Torrance community. Colonel Rock retired from the Air Force in June of 2020 and is currently the Senior Program Director at General Dynamic Information Technology.

While at Fort MacArthur, I had the opportunity to meet the individual I will now be paired with, Joy M. White, a member of the Senior Executive Service, she is the Executive Director for the Space and Missile Systems Center and the Head of Contractor Activity (HCA) for the United States Space Force, Los Angeles Air Force Base. 

She acts for and with the commander in the execution of an annual budget of $9 billion to develop and deliver capabilities that provide the warfighter agile, integrated, resilient and protected effects in space to meet critical national imperatives. In this role, she leads a workforce of approximately 6,000 military, civilian and contractor personnel to enable the Space Warfighting Construct, preparing the nation to fight and win a conflict in space. I am thrilled with this new assignment and look forward to supporting and learning from White.

The Honorary Commanders Program has not only introduced me to Los Angeles Air Force Base but has also provided me with the opportunity to meet those in the military who work hand in hand with civilians to deliver resilient and affordable space capabilities.

Pictured: Lt. General John F. Thompson, Commander, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base (center) welcomes (from left to right) Gary Duperron, Donna Duperron, Bryan Stewart and Marisela Halachian to Fort MacArthur.

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