Air Guard remains top community advocate

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. – It would not be out of the ordinary for someone in the East Tennessee Smoky Mountains region to know of a U.S. Air Force Airman.

That’s partly due to the community volunteerism generated here during last fiscal year through students at the Air National Guard’s I.G. Brown Training and Education Center.

“The student’s daily schedule is packed full of academic requirements, so their dedication to service truly shows in their support to the local community while balancing the rigors of coursework,” said Chief Master Sgt. Winfield Hinkley, the commandant.

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Training center, experts urge safety in path of solar eclipse

(Image: The Minuteman statue outside Patriot Hall at the Air National Guard’s I.G. Brown Training and Education Center in East Tennessee dons a pair of eclipse glasses, June 22, 2017, to emphasize the need for safe viewing of the coming solar eclipse.)

The I.G. Brown Training and Education Center staff, as well as students lucky enough to be assigned here Monday, August 21, will be seated directly in the path of totality during the North American Eclipse.

McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in East Tennessee borders both cities inside the area where the moon completely blocks light from the sun. Given good weather, experts predict those in Louisville, Tenn., should expect to see the partial phase beginning at 1:04 PM (EDT) and up to total blackout at 2:33 PM, lasting for 1 minute and 26 seconds. Those in Alcoa, Tenn. will see 1 minute 24 seconds of totality.

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Airport name honors Guard general’s son, who enlisted into Great War 100 years ago

(Image: A Curtiss H-16 patrol seaplane on a reconnaissance flight from U.S. Naval Air Station, Killingholm, England, Nov. 06, 1918. Photo courtesy Naval History and Heritage Command.)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. – This July, 100 years ago, Charles McGhee Tyson, a Princeton University Graduate and a successful textile businessman in Knoxville, Tenn., enlisted as a seaman, second class, into the U.S. Naval Reserve Flying Corps. His service and sacrifice in the Great War would make him one of the area’s more memorialized service members.

Those who ever served at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base or flew into McGhee Tyson Airport probably know the name, but some are not aware of the man and the family behind it.

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Anchoring an officer commissioning program’s memory

Stored for nearly three years, the relocation of the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center’s Drosendahl Memorial this month to the running track provides a weathered reminder of the Air National Guard’s Academy of Military Science officer commissioning program that’s no longer on campus.

Without this gray granite stone, without the seven inscribed AMS graduate names of those alumni who died serving the nation, without some other traces, only a few staff would recall TEC once having officer candidates, said the Deputy Commander, Lt. Col. David Meece.

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How are buildings named? A brick on our past contributors, heroes, founders

Lankford. Morrisey. Wilson.

You can read these and other names affixed to the outside brick of the Air National Guard’s I.G. Brown Training and Education Center buildings in East Tennessee, which shelter and support thousands of service members every year.

With the recent announcement of the new facility to be named Craig R. McKinley Hall, it is okay to wonder who are these people, and how did they get a building named for them?

The Air Force Memorialization Program has a detailed naming process for installations, buildings, rooms, facilities, streets, and other property. This criterion ensures these honors stand the test of time and get vetted properly.

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Air National Guard chief inspired by mother

Chief Master Sgt. Paula C. Shawhan is not the type of woman to wait idly for her stars to align.

Two months out of high school, Shawhan decided to follow her mother’s military success and enlist in the Air Force Reserve. Now she’s forged 22-years’ service as a medical technician but broadened herself beyond stereotypes as well as with the Air National Guard.

“No women should ever say, ‘I can’t do that because I’m a woman,’” said Shawhan. “I take my experiences, and I find a way to apply them. That’s one of the great things someone can do for themselves and for the Air Force – don’t get pigeonholed.”

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