Civilian Ambassadors Forge Links between Grand Forks AFB Community

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR A group of civilian ambassadors appointed by the wing commander of Grand Forks Air Force Base has been staying busy, keeping the Grand Forks community in eastern North Dakota up to date about activities at the installation, organizing military appreciation day events and traveling to Washington to meet with Pentagon officials.“Having a close relationship between the community and the base is very important. We always want the community to know what we’re doing out here, so we’re not a mystery,” said Wing Commander Col. Paul Bauman, who has been at the installation for about two years.The ambassadors are briefed on Air Force and air base activities during at least one event annually, and are invited to attend events planned for visiting high-ranking military leaders and other important visitors, reported the Grand Forks Herald. There currently are eight base ambassadors.The base ambassador program is an outgrowth of the Grand Forks-East Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee, and the ambassadors typically work with the committee on military appreciation day events. But Bauman drew a distinction with the community support groups that are active in most defense communities.“It’s unique,” he said. “One of the things that’s been interesting is feeling the closeness of the community to the base.”The tight connection between the installation and the community likely stems from the series of crises the two have been forced to cope with, including earlier BRAC rounds when the base was targeted for closure and the devastating flooding of the Red River in 1997.“A lot of that has forged close ties between the base and the community,” Bauman said. “Not every community has gone through that degree of trauma, so that adds to the uniqueness.”last_img

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