Lynn Bunn of Lone Pine has been selected for the U.S. Air Force’s Honorary Command program to serve as a liaison between local communities and Edwards Airforce Base, which often uses Eastern Sierra airspace for training and other operations.
As Inyo County’s Honorary Commander, Bunn has been paired with Lt. Col. Ryan Osteroos of Edwards Airforce Base’s 412th Operations and Support Squadron. Through the program, Osteroos will be tasked with maintaining open lines of communication with Bunn, who has been invited to participate in a number of events at the base.
Likewise, Bunn will serve as the go-between for Osteroos and local communities.
This is the second year an Inyo County resident has been incorporated into the Honorary Command Program. Last year, Lone Pine’s Jaque Hickman, owner of Owenyo Services, which operates the Lone Pine Airport, served as the first Honorary Commander from the Owens Valley.
“Our airspace is used by Edwards, so it’s very important to have some kind of connection to the people, so there is some kind of communication,” Hickman said. “Now, when people have questions, they have a sense that there’s a link” between the Owens Valley and the base. “It’s sort of a social bonding that facilitates communication.”
Bunn said she is looking forward to working with Osteroos and attending the various events at the base.
“I’m very excited to participate,” Bunn said. “It’s an honor to be chosen. I think the program will create an avenue of information between our communities and the base.”
When Bunn was selected as this year’s Honorary Commander, the Air Force presented her with a certificate outlining her duties and the goal of the program. “An honorary commander is charged with encouraging the exchange of ideas, experiences and friendships between the civilian and military communities,” the certificate states. “The goal is to build supportive relationships between the base and the local community, increase military involvement in civic endeavors and organizations and expand civilian knowledge and understanding of the military and the base missions.”
Bunn said that she has already been invited to an event on the base to be held May 9. “And because Jaquie (Hickman) was last year’s commander, she is invited to everything they do too,” Bunn said. Hickman, a longtime friend of Bunn’s, said the she plans to attend as many base activities as she can.
For her part, Bunn said she has invited Osteroos to attend the June 7 Concert in the Rocks in Lone Pine, as well as upcoming Inyo Associates meetings.
Bunn said that there are no formal presentations scheduled to have Osteroos address residents. Rather, the spirit behind the program is to create lasting relationships between base commanders and the community as a whole, and Bunn’s role is to facilitate those relationships by ensuring that Osteroos is aware and invited to social gatherings and events where he can meet residents and build those relationships.
Bunn will serve as Honorary Commander for one year before that title is turned over to a new representative.
“I think it’s a great program and I look forward to having my commanding partner at our local events,” Bunn said.