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New District 13 congressman visits Sheppard

Staff Sgt. Christopher Lewis and Rep. Ronny Jackson look at an F-22 aircraft maintenance trainer

Staff Sgt. Christopher Lewis, a 363rd Training Squadron F-22 armament apprentice course instructor, shows Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Amarillo, one of the F-22 Raptor trainers used to train a variety aircraft maintenance Airmen at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 27, 2021. The congressional visit was an opportunity to show Jackson both the top-notch technology being used at Sheppard, as well as some aspects of training such as facilities that could use some improvements and upgrades. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Pedro Tenorio)

Brig. Gen. Kenyon Bell talks to Rep. Ronny Jackson

(From left to right) Rep. Ronny Jackson, Texas Congressional District 13 representative, Tech. Sgt. Joseph Archer, 363rd Training Squadron instructor supervisor, and 82nd Training Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Kenyon Bell discuss one part of the 363rd's missions at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 27, 2021. Jackson, a retired Navy rear admiral, made his first visit to the North Texas installation following his election in November 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Pedro Tenorio)

Rep. Ronny Jackson walks with 80th Flying Training Wing Commander Col. Robert Haas

Rep. Ronny Jackson, Texas Congressional District 13 representative, wearing Texas flag mask, walks with 80th Flying Training Wing Commander Col. Robert Haas during a tour of pilot training facilities at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 27, 2021. During his visit to Sheppard, Jackson toured the newly renovated main gate of Sheppard, the new medical clinic under construction, the dormitories of Sheppard, training hangars, F-22 maintenance trainers, the Navy Seabee detachment, the 80th Flying Training Wing and the aircraft traffic control tower. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Pedro Tenorio)

Rep. Ronny Jackson

Rep. Ronny Jackson, the freshman congressman for Texas Congressional District 13, tours the 80th Flying Training Wing at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 1, 2021. During his visit to Sheppard, Jackson toured the newly renovated main gate of Sheppard, the new medical clinic under construction, the dormitories of Sheppard, training hangars, F-22 maintenance trainers, the Navy Seabee detachment, the 80th Flying Training Wing and the aircraft traffic control tower. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Pedro Tenorio)

Rep. Ronny Jackson operates a flight simulator

Rep. Ronny Jackson, Texas Congressional District 13 representative, operates a virtual flight simulator used by students in the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 27, 2021. The ENJJPT Spark Cell is in charge of innovating pilot training at Sheppard with technology such as the flight simulators. Through the use of virtual reality, student pilots can get familiar with the aircraft's systems, learn flight paths, flight formations and much more without getting into an actual jet. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Pedro Tenorio)

Rep. Ronny Jackson operates a flight simulator

Rep. Ronny Jackson, Texas Congressional District 13 representative, operates a virtual flight simulator used by students in the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 27, 2021. The ENJJPT Spark Cell is in charge of innovating pilot training at Sheppard with technology such as the flight simulators. Through the use of virtual reality, student pilots can get familiar with the aircraft's systems, learn flight paths, flight formations and much more without getting into an actual jet. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Pedro Tenorio)

Rep. Ronny Jackson visits Sheppard AFB

Brig. Gen. Kenyon Bell, center left, 82nd Training Wing commander, gives Texas Congressional District 13 Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Amarillo, a mission overview at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 27, 2021. Jackson, a retired Navy rear admiral, met with leadership from both the 82nd TRW and the 80th Flying Training Wing during his first visit to the Air Force’s only installation to conduct both technical and pilot training. They briefly discussed the current and future state of Sheppard and the role in plays in North Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Pedro Tenorio)

Rep. Ronny Jackson visits Sheppard AFB

Texas Congressional District 13 Rep. Ronny Jackson, center, is joined by, from left to right, 82nd Training Wing Command Chief Master Sgt. Diena Mosely, Brig. Gen. Kenyon Bell, 82nd TRW commander, Sheppard Military Affairs Committee president Glenn Barham, Col. Robert Haas, 80th Flying Training Wing commander, and 80th FTW Command Chief Master Sgt. Matthew Mueller in front of the 82nd TRW headquarters building at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 27, 2021. Jackson, R-Amarillo, was elected in November 2020 to represent District 13, a seat formerly held by Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon, who did not seek another term after 26 years in office. The congressman was shown the uniqueness of Sheppard AFB, the only Air Force installation to conduct both technical and pilot training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Pedro Tenorio)

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Amarillo) made his first visit to Sheppard AFB Jan. 27, 2021, home to the only Air Force installation that conducts both technical and pilot training.

The freshman congressman was greeted by installation and 82nd Training Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Kenyon Bell, 80th Flying Training Wing Commander Col. Robert Haas, and other senior leaders.

Because of the installation’s dual missions, Jackson said Sheppard AFB “has proven indispensable” when it comes to providing for the national defense as well as the defense of the 14 NATO partners that participate in the 80th FTW’s Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program. The 82nd TRW is also the go-to source for aircraft maintenance training for more than 38 nation partners, including the $29 billion Royal Saudi air force F-15SA Fleet Modernization Program, the largest foreign military sales case in U.S. history.

The congressman called the two training wings at Sheppard “among the best in the military.”

“I was honored to visit with Brigadier General Bell, Colonel Haas, and members of both wings today, and I look forward to being a part of their continued growth and success,” he said. “I will be a strong advocate for Sheppard Air Force Base on the House Armed Services Committee, ensuring we provide the tools and resources necessary to properly prepare our Airmen for future missions.”

A tour of training facilities and programs provided Jackson an up-close view of what is the dichotomy of Sheppard AFB – training 21st-century Airmen, for the most part, in World War II- and Cold War-era facilities. The congressman was also shown how technology is also playing a prominent role in training, including the F-22 Maintenance Facility, where fifth-generation aircraft maintainers are trained, and the ENJJPT Spark Cell, where student pilots use virtual and mixed realities in their curriculum.

Jackson, a retired Navy rear admiral and physician, was appointed on Jan. 25, 2021, to the House Armed Services Committee, an appointment his predecessor, former Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon, held during his 26-year tenure in Congress. The HASC is responsible for setting policy for the military as well as defense funding.

“As a retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral with nearly three decades of military service, I am prepared to be an active member of the Committee as we look to improve our readiness, implement modernization efforts for our military, and return America to being the world’s greatest force for good,” he said in a news release.

 Jackson was elected to Congress in November, becoming the first person to represent Texas Congressional District 13 since Thornberry was elected in 1994.