By MSgt Mavi Smith
Tennessee National Guard
McGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. - The Air National Guard Noncommissioned Officer Academy and Airman Leadership School was renamed the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center in a ceremony at Wilson Hall here on the campus of The I.G. Brown Air National Guard Training and Education Center (TEC) Dec. 16.
“This ceremony honors Chief Lankford’s legacy,” said Col. Michael L. Waggett, commander of the TEC. “I can’t think of anyone more appropriate … to recognize. He embodied our Air Force core values and served as a role model for present and future leaders of the Air National Guard.”
Retired Chief Master Sgt. Paul H. Lankford of Maryville, Tenn., was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard with 42 years of service. He served from 1968 to 1981 as the first enlisted commandant of the Air National Guard Noncommissioned Officer Academy and Leadership School. He was a survivor of the Bataan Death March and endured three years and six months of captivity and horrific conditions as a prisoner of war during WWII. He passed away on Aug. 22 at the age of 89.
“Chief Master Sgt. Lankford laid the foundation for our school to develop the enlisted leaders of the Air National Guard,” said Chief Master Sgt. Deborah F. Davidson, commandant of enlisted PME. “It is due to his efforts and far sighted vision that our graduates are better prepared to serve their units, their families and their country.”
This official rededication event was held in conjunction with the graduation ceremony of the NCO Academy and Airman Leadership School Satellite classes 2008-2.
More than 400 guests included wing commanders, state command chief master sergeants, family and friends from across the country.