Former wing commanders share perspectives of 9/11 for 20th Anniversary

  • Published
  • By John Ingle
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Dec. 7, 1941.

Nov. 22, 1963.

July 20, 1969.

Dates that, for many, need little explanation as to their importance. Pearl Harbor. President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The lunar landing. They all, in some way, changed or shaped the course of a nation – of the world.

Sept. 11, 2001, became such a date when terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners and did the unthinkable – attacked the United States. It’s rare to find someone who doesn’t recall where they were; what they were doing; who they were with.

The day was unimaginable. Today, 20 years after those events, Sept. 11, 2001, is unforgettable.

To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, the commanders of the 82nd Training Wing and 80th Flying Training Wing returned to Sheppard for a special video project. Retired Maj. Gen. Michael Collings, 82nd TRW commander from July 2001 to February 2002, and retired Lt. Gen. Ralph Jodice II, 80th FTW commander from July 2001 to August 2003, shared their memories and experiences of the day that shook and united a country.

Imagine that day. Thousands of Airmen-in-Training in classrooms. Thirteen NATO partners participating in the world’s only internationally manned and operated undergraduate pilot training program. Thousands of permanent party military, civilian and contract personnel on the installation, not to mention hundreds of dependents, retirees and other beneficiaries that visit the base daily; or blissful students scurrying about the halls of Sheppard Elementary School.

The installation’s response came down to the leadership in place. Join us as we share this intimate perspective of 9/11 through Collings and Jodice, both who were also overcoming the depths of emotion and anger just as their fellow Americans were.

On Sept. 10, 2021, the full-length video can be viewed on the Sheppard AFB Facebook page, and a unique Instagram tribute to 9/11 will take viewers through events of that day in a magazine-style format.