WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - After 20 months of construction, $8.7 million in funding, and a delayed opening due to the pandemic, the new main gate at Sheppard Air Force Base finally had its long overdue ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“This is the entry into excellence,” Installation Commander Brig. Gen. Kenyon Bell said. “Our core values: integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do when combat capability starts right here. That means that for our airmen, this is their first location where they’re getting those values installed.”
Those in attendance included Congressman Ronny Jackson and Texas State Senator Drew Springer.
“The one thing that everyone in the air force has in common is that they all, at one point or another in their career, spent time at Sheppard Air Force Base. It really is universal in everyone’s career,” Jackson said.
Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana and other focal members of the Wichita Falls community were also in the crowd and expressed their feelings for how important the base is for the city.
“When I look across the crowd, it shows me the pride we have in our military community; and I can tell you right now, this project makes me proud to be the mayor of a military community,” Santellana said.
And with the new gate complete, the feeling of pride is mutual.
“For us to have a place where they can pridefully drive on and call this home, this is a big deal for us,” Bell said.