Local community leaders selected as 115 FW Honorary Commanders

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Cameron Lewis
  • 115th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Civic and corporate leaders from the Madison area gathered  at Truax Field April 6, for an event commemorating their new role as Honorary Commanders at the 115th Fighter Wing.

The Honorary Commander Program was developed to allow local community and business leaders an opportunity to gain insight into the fighter wing’s mission and the overall Air Force way of life by obtaining hands-on experience through a close association with Air Force commanders and personnel.

“Unlike a large active-duty unit, if we don’t have community members who are familiar with our mission it can often go misunderstood,” said Col. Bart Van Roo, the 115th Fighter Wing commander and Dane County local for over 30 years. “My goal for this program is to familiarize you with what we do, promote a greater understanding of our involvement in the community and encourage you to share what you’ve learned with others.”

To ensure a variety of community leaders are provided this unique opportunity, the 115th Honorary Commander Program selects approximately 20 applicants to work hand-in-hand with a 115th FW Squadron or Group commander for two years.

“To see how the wing has evolved over the years to include members of our community is truly amazing,” said Col. Brian Parker, the commander of the 115th Operations Group who was locally grown in Cambridge.

Designed to incorporate all aspects of the community, this year’s Honorary Commanders included Dane County Sherriff Kalvin Barrett, Urban League of Greater Madison President and CEO Ruben Anthony, and several other leaders in the community.

“I’m honored to be an Honorary Commander for such an exceptional level of people who operate for such exceptional purposes,” said Matt Hofeldt, owner of Middleton’s Capital Flight and Marshall’s Capital Speed. “We have a wonderful community, filled with amazing people, and if I can utilize my abilities to build great relationships and support the members of our military, the honor is mine.”

2022 Honorary Commanders:

Curt Bronkhorst – Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies & Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dave Hamilton – Vortex Optics family of founders

Jim Holden – Emeritus Professor of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Kalvin Barrett – Dane County Sherriff

Matt Hofeldt – Owner of Middleton’s Capital Flight and Marshall’s Capital Speed

Patrick Harrigan – Epic Systems

Ruben Anthony – Urban League of Greater Madison President and CEO

Ted LeRoy – Sales Director at Stoughton Trailers

Tom Anderson & Laura Stekelberg – Owners of Buck & Honey’s Restaurants

Tom Bakken – Green Bay Packers Assistant Equipment Manager

Zak & Ryan Koga – Brothers and owners of Madison’s Karben4 Brewing