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ISR agency remembers, honors its legacy

Staff Sgt. Chris Strunk presents a memorial wreath during the annual Anniversary Week Remembrance Ceremony Sept. 26, 2014, at the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency headquarters on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Andrew Caulk)

Staff Sgt. Chris Strunk presents a memorial wreath during the annual Anniversary Week Remembrance Ceremony Sept. 26, 2014, at the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency headquarters on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Andrew Caulk)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO - LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) -- Four of the most influential leaders of the Air Force intelligence community were forever enshrined into the heritage of the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency, during a ceremony here Sept. 27.

Retired Chief Master Sgts. Ronald Davey and Michael Meermans and retired Master Sgts. William Dickerson and Navid Garshasb were inducted into the organization's Hall of Honor in the agency's headquarters building on Security Hill.

Their selection from among 17 nominees brings the total number of inductees to 176, spanning the 66 years of the Air Force Security Service and its succeeding iterations.

Created in 1983, the Hall of Honor recognizes individuals who served with great distinction and contributed immeasurably to successful mission accomplishment. The hall preserves the legacy of those who have gone before with a lasting tribute to their deeds and honors their contributions to the nation.

"The Hall of Honor is an elite club, in the most positive sense of the term. The price of entry is very high indeed," said Maj. Gen. John Shanahan, the Air Force ISR Agency commander. "This year we honor four Air Force ISR luminaries. (collectively) they flew over 20,000 hours, over 7,000 of them in combat, spoke nine languages, 10 if you consider beep and squeaks a language, and accumulated five distinguished flying crosses, two bronze stars and countless air and aerial achievement medals"

The four Airmen were selected for induction by a nine-member Freedom Through Vigilance Association alumni group committee of prior Hall of Honor inductees. The 2014 inductee class plaque is permanently displayed in the Hall of Honor.

Meermans, who is the first enlisted Air Force intelligence community alumnus to hold the position of Intelligence Advisor to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, summed up the induction recognition for the honorees.

"A career is a we thing, not a me thing," he said. "Thank you for picking up where we left off in training ISR Airmen."

Family members accepted the plaques on behalf of Davey and Garshasb who are deceased.

‘Honoring those no longer with us,’ was the theme at the agency's annual remembrance ceremony Sept. 26. The event honored the silent warriors who gave their lives to the agency's vital mission and the national security.

The term silent warriors refers to members who served under the various iterations of the organization starting with the Air Force Security Service, followed by the Electronic Security Command, Air Force Intelligence Command, Air Intelligence Agency and the present day Air Force ISR Agency.

"The name of our esteemed organization has changed a number of times since it was born 66 years ago," Shanahan told the ceremony crowd. "But what has not changed and will never change, is the DNA of the ISR silent warrior."

The remembrance ceremony culminated, as has been tradition, with a roll call of unit members, referred to as ‘Fallen Eagles,’ who have passed away during the previous 12 months. Retired Air Intelligence Agency Command Chief Master Sgt. Edward Colquhoun, Jr. read a list of the 62 Fallen Eagles.

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