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GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. - 34 Airmen from the 434th Air Refueling Wing were promoted between January and April. Their names are as follows:

To SENIOR MASTER SERGEANT:

Michael Morris, 434th CS

To MASTER SERGEANT:

David Bryant, 434th Maintenance Squadron

Stephen Heidrich, 434th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Timothy Lyvers, 434th Aerial Port Squadron

GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. -- Citizen Airmen from the 434th Air Refueling Wing were recognized for their service during a civilian’s call Aug. 6 here.

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Katrina Heikkinen

Grissom civilians pose with Col. Larry Shaw, 434th Air Refueling Wing commander, after receiving a certificate of service for completing 10 years of federal service during a civilian’s call at Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind., Aug. 6, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Katrina Heikkinen)

U.S. Air Force photo / Senior Airman Harrison Withrow

GRISSOM AIR RESERVE, Ind. -- There’s a new top operator in town, and his name is Hollis, Colonel Brian Hollis.

Hollis assumed command of the 434th Operations Group July 15 filling the vacancy of Lt. Col. Todd Moody who retired in June.

“Colonel Hollis has extensive experience in all aspects of the air mobility mission,” said Col. Larry Shaw, 434th Air Refueling Wing commander, who presided over the ceremony.

In his position, Hollis will supervise and direct the refueling squadrons and is responsible for all KC-135R Stratotanker operational matters within the wing.

“I work for you in the ops group,” Hollis said. “I’m your advocate and I work for you.”

U.S. Air Force photo by Douglas Hays

GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. -- Lying on the hood of his father’s car at the San Jose airport in California, a young Hiram ‘Paul’ Gates stared up into the sky watching airplanes fly above and he knew he wanted to fly.

Fast forward about 40 years, Col. Hiram ‘Paul’ Gates III retired from the Air Force after 30 years of service July 1, 2018.

Holding the position of vice commander of the 434th ARW since 2015, Gates supported and directed the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command.

“Friends, squadron mates, families members – this is truly humbling,” Gates said. “I am so blessed and privileged to have worked for the people of this wing.”

Gates’ Air Force career began in 1988 when he received a commission after graduating from the Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in international relations.

He then entered pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona, and was assigned to the 905th Air Refueling Squadron, Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota.

U.S. Air Force photo of Col. Anne Noel, 434th Air Refueling Wing vice commander

GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. -- As a child, surrounded by cornfields in the small town of Wood River, Nebraska 150 miles west of Offutt Air Force Base, Anne attended a one-room “country school” where she and her classmates’ adolescence rang strongly of patriotism.

“My earliest memory is being a young child who had an overwhelming feeling that I needed to serve others and give back to my country for just the mere fact I was fortunate enough to be born in a free country,” she said.

Three decades later, she continues to serve her country, but this time in a new role.

Col. Anne Noel assumed the position of 434th Air Refueling Wing vice commander, succeeding Col. H.P. Gates III, who retired July 14, 2018.

U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Mota

INDIANAPOLIS -- Col. Larry Shaw, 434th Air Refueling Wing commander, and five other key leaders from Grissom Air Reserve Base were invited to meet Vice President Mike Pence May 18, 2018, in Indianapolis.

During their visit, Pence thanked members for their service and commitment to their nation.

“Meeting the Vice President was an honor,” said Shaw. “I’m excited to talk about our Airmen and the mission of the Hoosier wing. This was a great opportunity to do just that.”

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GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. -- 100 Airmen from the 434th Air Refueling Wing were promoted between January and April. Their names are as follows:

To SENIOR MASTER SERGEANT:

Mark Copp, 434th Operations Support Squadron
Corey Fields, 434th Maintenance Squadron
Zachary Gaumer, 434th Logistics Readiness Squadron
Gregory Moolenaar, 434th Security Forces Squadron

(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Katrina Heikkinen)

GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. -- Not only are many of the Air Force’s enlisted members able to call themselves graduates of basic military training, they can also call themselves college graduates.

This is now true for 31 Airmen assigned to the 434th Air Refueling Wing as they recently earned their Community College of the Air Force degrees in their selected career fields.