A commander's call of a different color

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Patrick McKenna
  • 11th Wing Public Affairs
When you hear you're having a wing commander's call, what comes to mind? Some might think of the loud chants each squadron shouts. Others might hope they get there early enough to snag a nice seat in the back and, let's be honest, some just hope to make it through without getting caught with their eyes closed or their cell phone going off.

The point is, that no matter if you've been in the Air Force for a few years or a few decades, commander's calls are, for the most part, always the same.

The Airmen from the 11th Wing now may think a little differently after attending the 11th WG commander's call on the flightline here Nov. 2, led by Col. Ken Rizer, the11th WG/Joint Base Andrews commander and Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Brinkley, 11 WG/Joint Base Andrews command chief.

Hundreds of 11th WG Airmen packed in shoulder-to-shoulder on four outdoor bleachers on the JB Andrews flightline, facing formations of the Air Force Band to the right and the Air Force Honor Guard to the left. In the center, was a stage set up with drums, electric guitars and microphones. But there was only something missing: where were the commander and command chief?

Shortly after everyone was settled in their seats, a 1st Helicopter Squadron UH-1N Iroquois landed on the flightline approximately 50 yards from the stage. Out sprung an 11th Security Forces Squadron emergency services team in a diamond formation escorting Colonel Rizer and Chief Brinkley to the staging area. The EST unit was just one of the units on hand to showcase its mission, ensuring 360 degree security around its "protectees."

"Colonel Rizer and I get to see everything the 11th WG does from the top down," Chief Brinkley said. "But some of you have not had the opportunity and privilege to see some of the things we witness on a daily basis. So today, we are going to showcase you to yourselves. This will be a commander's call like you've never seen before."

Following performances by the Air Force Band and the Air Force Honor Guard, several 11th WG Airmen and civilians were highlighted to feature the important missions they perform every day across the wing. As each person and their mission was introduced, the crowd cheered them on as they ran through an honor guard cordon, greeted at the end by Colonel Rizer and Chief Brinkley.

The crowd was then treated to performances by the Air Force Band's Airmen of Note, the premier jazz ensemble of the Air Force, the Singing Sergeants, the official chorus of the Air Force, and Max Impact, an Air Force performing unit that blends different styles of music to entertain and inspire its listeners.

The Air Force Honor Guard drill team followed the musical performances and kept exhibited their level of precision and timing they used to execute each of their maneuvers.

The final performance belonged to the 1st HS, which simulated an alert scramble. At the sound of the siren, four flight teams raced from the alert facility into four UH-1Ns and took off in a matter of minutes, exemplifying their vigilance and quick-response capabilities to the crowd.

Colonel Rizer said the 11th WG principles -- vigilance, precision and global impact -- were evident in every aspect of the commander's call and it's not just the units on display that exemplify those traits.

"Every single one of you plays a critical role as part of the 11th WG," Colonel Rizer said. "What you saw today was excellence in action and . . . hopefully, you are as proud to be a part of the 11th WG as I am."