Wayne County has a mutually beneficial relationship with the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. That alliance was highlighted Tuesday as the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce held its annual State of the Military, providing an inside look at the happenings at the local Air Force base.
Col. Kurt Helphinstine, the commander of the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson, says the base experienced its highest level of COVID-19 cases this Monday. He says the wing wants to ensure the safety and health of its airmen. Helphinstine also says the Department of Defense may mandate COVID vaccines for all military personnel as early as this week.
Addressing rumors that have spread on social media, Col. Helphinstine says the Department of Defense has been using Seymour Johnson to help move its personnel around the nation, and not always in military aircraft. He warns spreading those rumors leads to distrust between airmen and the community.
Col. Helphinstine says he is excited to see Seymour Johnson Partner with Wayne County Public Schools for the new on-base Wayne School of Technical Arts, which will serve approximately 420 military and non-military connected students in grades 6-12
The State of the Military event also featured updates from the leaders of the 916th Air Refueling Wing and the Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee.