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AFNORTH commander brings neighbors, community leaders together

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Kurt Skoglund
  • AFNORTH Public Affairs
Fall arrived early for Team Tyndall.

This year, Lt. Gen. William Etter, Commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region - 1st Air Force (Air Forces Northern), held a Fall Festival at his base residence Tuesday.

Although there were no gold, red and yellow fall colors or the smell of cinnamon in the air, civic leaders from the community came together with leaders from the 325th Fighter Wing and 1st AF for good food and conversation.

Etter believes Tyndall's support of the local community around Panama City and the community's support of Tyndall have been mutually rewarding.

With guests in place, Etter opened the evening saying. "I would like to thank the downtown team for being here. I won't hesitate to say, wherever I go, I tell people we have the best support from our downtown folks of anybody ever. You make our life easy and thank you for your support of the military."

Also in attendance was the new wing commander for Tyndall's 325th FW. Col. Derek France took charge late July. The wing provides support to more than 23,000 Airmen, civilians, contractors and their families.

Etter welcomed France to Tyndall as he said, "We are happy to be here as your neighbors as well as a tenant here of the 325th as 1st Air Force and as the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region."

Etter encouraged everyone to read France's impressive biography, then noted many assignments France had during his career, plus one in particular. France was a former fighter-pilot instructor which basically means, "He's a bad-to-the-bone fighter pilot," Etter said.

France thanked Etter for honoring Amanda and him.

"It's great to come over and share fellowship with a great team of folks," France said, "When I arrived here, one of the first things I was told was get to know the downtown folks, they are our biggest allies of the base and that is true."

France gratefully expressed it's been awesome to have the Etters as neighbors.
"Sir, we appreciate your hospitality and are honored to be here. Thank you for the warm welcome.

After opening comments, guests gathered under a large canopy with a peaceful view of the bay and Shell Island, dinner was served.