The Beacon's Highlights of 2009

  • Published
  • By Megan Just
  • 452 AMW Public Affairs
March Air Reserve Base news
35 members of the 452nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron deployed to Panama for a humanitarian mission (Jan. 12)
March received a ninth C-17 Globemaster III (Jan. 13)
Brig. Gen. Eric W. Crabtree became Commander, Fourth Air Force; Major Gen. Robert E. Duignan retires (Jan. 25)
50th and 56th Aerial Ports Squadrons deployed simultaneously to Iraq and Afghanistan (April)
Induction ceremony held for 17 March Airmen who achieved the rank of Chief Master Sergeant since 2006 (Apr. 18)
163d Reconnaissance Wing graduated first Air National Guard MQ-1 Predator Formal Training Unit class (May 15)
March hosted 2009 California Air Force Association Convention (May 28-30)
729th Airlift Squadron C-17 made 10 flyovers in a single sortee (Jul. 4)
Navy Operational Center Moreno Valley gave 1st Annual Colonel Millet Unit Excellence Award (Jul. 18)
452nd Air Mobility Wing won Raincross Trophy for best wing or group in the Fourth Air Force (Jul. 21)
120 service members and family members attended March's first Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program (Aug. 1)
March firefighters joined fight against the massive Station Fire (Sep. 4)
332nd Air Refueling Squadron tapeed reality TV show for MTV (Sep. 10)
729th Airlift Squadron supported FEMA's tsunami relief in American Samoa (Oct. 2)
Army Reserve opened new March Armed Forces Center (Oct. 3)
752nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron held ribbon-cutting for newly renovated maintenance hangar (Nov. 4)

March Volunteers
Team March members read to Mark Twain Elementary School students for national Read Across America day (Mar. 2)
Jacob Michael Kenneth Mederios overhauled a C-141-B Starlifter at the March Field Museum for his Eagle Scout project (Mar. 27)
Squadrons at March worked together to host two Make-A-Wish foundation children (Apr. 4 and Nov. 7)
Laura Froehlich accepted the Spirit of Hope Award for exceptional volunteerism (Oct. 27)

The environment
Civil Engineering Squadron finished water-saving landscape project (June 26)
Rideshare week inspired a record 160 Team March members to use alternative transportation (Oct. 5-9)
Site under runway contaminated with 58,000 gallons of jet fuel declared clean; soil treatment system removed (Sep. 22)

CANDID COMMENTS | The issues of 2009
Michael Jackson's death and mega-funeral: "Well...he did have good music. However, I remember MJ dangling one of his children over a balcony years ago, brought up on child molestation charges, inappropriate relationships with children, his hair catching on fire on stage. The only effect it has on me is my perception of people commenting on CNN and Facebook--all the comments made in his favor. But, were these people feeling this way two months, eight months, two years ago? Were they consistently playing his music? Probably not." - Tech. Sgt. Daniel Armstrong

Health care reform: "I like the idea of providing health care for all citizens. The problem I see with the proposed health plan is the convoluted bureaucracy in which the bill appears to be heading into. The administration claims transparency, but the signers don't know exactly what is in the bill. I say if we want to reform, talk to all players: insurance, providers and recipients. Right now it's only bureaucrats and the 1,000 plus pages require a law degree to decipher. Yes, let's DO health care, but involve all from the beginning and not just politicians merely shoving something down to us with an unimaginable price tag." - Chief Master Sgt. Juan Covarrubias

The swine flu: "I think there's a potential for a pandemic, that's why we're taking shots. I will get my H1N1 shot and use hand sanitizer to prevent getting it." - Master Sgt. Rick Johnson

Tradgedy at Fort Hood: "What impacted me most was the loss of American people on American soil. I'm in law enforcement and what I thought was great was the female cop and how she saved a lot more lives that could have been lost." - Tech. Sgt. Jerry Whitt