Date: March 25-26, 2023
Date: December 3, 2021
The Military Affairs Council and Barksdale Air Force Base are happy to introduce the ADOPT AN AIRMAN PROGRAM (Roots for Boots) here in Shreveport-Bossier. This Barksdale Airmen Sponsor Program (BASP) offers select community leaders a unique and rewarding opportunity to provide Airmen a home-away-from home during their first assignment in the military. It also offers community leaders the opportunity to enter Barksdale Air Force Base and meet first-hand our fine young Air Force men and women and, the air and space leaders of tomorrow. The BASP is designed to provide Airmen with an avenue to form friendships and gather support beyond the formal work environment. If you can remember leaving behind the comfort and security of your parents’ home, then you will understand the needs of the young men and women in the BASP. Rigorous military standards can tax even the best of spirits, producing feelings of great stress to make the grade in some Airmen, and in others, moments of loneliness, homesickness and doubt. The official relationship lasts for the duration of time that the Airman is assigned to Barksdale AFB, or when one of the two parties decides to terminate the relationship. The goal of the program is to have individuals from the community serve as the Airman’s mentor, friend, and advisor, providing a caring environment to relax away from the pressures of work and future deployments. Participants are also in the position to serve as a positive adult role model helping Airmen understand their role as a career Air Force Airman and reinforcing positive social values. This rewarding program currently exists at other military installations and has been highly successful. The BASP will be run by the Military Affairs Council (MAC) of Shreveport-Bossier. The MAC is a 501c3 non-profit with a history of service and ties to Barksdale AFB. We, through the BASP, will attempt to match host families with Airmen who share the same basic characteristics. Airmen can request “by name” host families. If you have the desire and commitment to make a difference in a young Airman’s life, this is the program for you! Kem Smelser will serve as the Committee Chair/Program Manager for the Barksdale Sponsor Program. If you interested in being involved in the program or have questions, contact him at email@example.com or 318 208-2386.
The MAC supports AWARDS that recognize and encourage airmen for a job well done. Modest cash gifts and MAC coins are given at the wing level to monthly, quarterly, and annual award recipients as a token of our community’s appreciation for excellence in service.
SUPPORTING FAMILIES OF DEPLOYED PERSONNEL during hardship is a privilege. Funds have been donated to the MAC by a corporate partner for emergencies so that those who are in harm’s way know help is available for their families in special times of need. The MAC directs its requests to assist families with special needs to the Second Bomb Wing Commander.
Eye on the Eagle
Congratulations to our Eagle Volunteer of the Year for 2021 Bert Schmale. Bert Schmale is a lifelong Shreveport resident, born, raised and educated in Shreveport graduating from LSUS with a Business Management degree in 1993. He is currently a Senior Vice President in commercial banking at Home Federal Bank with over 20 years of experience in real estate and banking. Bert has been a proud member of the MAC since 2015. In 2017 and 2018, he served as the vice president over the Celebrate Barksdale Picnic, working in tandem with Kathi Smith. Now, serving as the new treasurer, with a new president and executive director of the Military Affairs Council, Bert's vision includes working in tandem with the board reviewing some of the processes in place and improving on the successes of the past.
Eye on the Eagle
Congratulations to our Eagle Volunteer of the Year for 2019 Brigadier General (Retired) Jack Ihle. Jack is a long-time member of the MAC. He has served for several years on the Board of Directors, chaired the Celebrate Barksdale Golf Tournament twice and has been a Celebrate Barksdale Picnic and Air Show volunteer for many years. Jack and his wife, Donna, are also a host family for the Roots for Boots Program. His contributions to our Organization are immeasurable. General Ihle graduated from Lakota High School, West Chester, Ohio, in 1964 and entered the Air Force in 1969 after commissioning through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Ohio State University. In addition to Barksdale Air Force Base, he served his country in assignments including Moody Air Force Base, GA, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, AZ, Bitburg Air Base, Germany, Korat Royal Thailand Air Force Base in Thailand, Red Flag at Nellis Air Force Base, NV, Naval Air Station New Orleans, LA and Bergstrom Air Reserve Base and Naval Air Station Ft. Worth, TX. Jack was recalled to active duty in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm where he flew 40 combat missions in the A-10. Brigadier General Jack C. Ihle was the commander of the Air Force Reserve Command's 917th Wing, Barksdale AFB, LA from May 1998 through April 2005. He is a command pilot with more than 5000 hours flying time in the F-4, A-37, A-10, F-16 and B-52 aircraft. He retired from the United States Reserves in April of 2005 and has spent his time golfing, volunteering with several organizations, including the Daedalians, Barksdale Pharmacy, and visiting with his children and grandchildren. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering from Ohio State University, and a Master’s of Business Administration from Louisiana Tech University. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and has lived in the Shreveport area since 1998. He is married to Donna and they have 2 children and 3 grandchildren.
Eye on the Eagle
Congratulations to our Eagle Volunteer of the Year for 2019 Samuel “Sammy” Halphen. Sammy is our Chairman for the Roots for Boots (RfB) Program, and along with his wife, stood up the pro-gram from its inception. In addition, Sammy is serving on our Board of Di-rectors.
Sammy has worked as the Health, Safety, Environmental Superintendent and Emergency Manager with BHP Billiton, a Global Energy company. His achievements in the field of Safety, Emergency Management and community service are vast with over 30 years of service.
His career of caring for others started in the Unit-ed States Air Force as a Medic then continued by serving as a Firefight-er/Paramedic, Commissioned SWAT Medic, Assistant Chief of Training, Emergency Medical Services Director, and Fire Chief for Bossier City, finishing his government career as Homeland Security Director for Bossier Parish Louisiana.
He has effectively managed hundreds of employees and integrated teams to a common goal of caring for the residents of Louisiana in times of emergencies. He has received recognition such as the Chamber of Commerce Patriot of the Year Award, LA House of Representatives Life Saving Award, Veterans of Foreign Wars Life Saving Award and voted one of the top 5 Fire Chiefs in the Nation from International Association of Fire Chiefs, Fire Chiefs Magazine.
He serves Christus Health Systems as a Quality Care Committee member. Sammy has served on many State Governmental Commissions/Boards such as The Louisiana Emergency Response Commission, Emergency Medical Services Certification Commission and Fire Prevention Board of Review.
He was born in Shreveport and has lived in Bossier Parish for the last 49 years. He is a Christian, married to the former Sara Carroll and has 3 children.
The Shreveport-Bossier Military Affairs Council is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Military Affairs Council Scholarship. This year’s recipients are SrA Naomi O. Abel 2 MDSS, SrA John G. Augusta 608 AOC, SrA Daniel D. Hagan 2 MXS, SSgt Sara A. Hagmeier 307 MXG, A1C Yunjie Hu 2 MDOS, SSgt Christopher R. Kennedy 2 AMXS, SrA Leighton C. Kennedy 2 MXS, A1C Mia A. Luciano 2 FSS, SrA Diamond A. McNutt 307 LRS, TSgt Pamela K. Mericle AFGSC/IG, SrA Cassidy L. Miller 2 SFS, SSgt Courtney M. Muhl 2 BW/WSA, TSgt Marshall G. Nall AFGSC/IG, SSgt Kenneth J. Oliver 2 AMXS, MSgt Amber D. Perry 307 BW/IG, A1C Kaela B. Poulin 2 MUNS, MSgt Nicole M. Rios 2 OSS, SrA Christian T. Rudolph 608 AOC, SSgt Robert J. Simpson 2 CES, and A1C Benjamin R. Stone 2 MUNS.
Scholarships will be presented at the Military Affairs Council Update Luncheon on 12 June 2019 at 11:30 at the Barksdale Club. Congratulations to all our winners.
- Check Presentation
- Roots for Boots 2018
- Roots for Boots 2017
- Operation Hero 2019 | September 28, 2019
- Operation Hero 2017
- MAC Scholarship 2020
- MAC Scholarship 2019 | June 12, 2019
- MAC Scholarship 2017
- Celebrate Barksdale Golf Tournament 2016 | November 14, 2016
- Celebrate Barksdale Picnic 2016 | October 14, 2016
- Operation Hero 2016 | September 24, 2016
- MAC Scholarship 2016 | July 7, 2016
- Operation Hero 2014 | January 1, 2014