Former [Air] Guardsman visits fighter unit as congressman

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Phil Fountain
  • 149th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
U.S. Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez of San Antonio, a seven-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives, visited the Texas Air National Guard's 149th Fighter Wing at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 18.
No stranger to the unit, Congressman Gonzalez served as a member of the Alamo City-based Air National Guard unit in the intelligence field from 1969 to 1975. He achieved the rank of Technical Sgt., then went to become an attorney and served as a judge in Bexar County.
He now represents the 20th congressional district of Texas, which includes the physical geography that contains the F-16 training unit, a position he has held since 1999, when he succeeded his father, the late-Henry B. Gonzalez.
"s the federal representative for the area, I am committed to advocating for the Wing's capabilities," Congressman Gonzalez said. "The National Guard plays a critical role in America's defense mission, and the 149th Fighter Wing is a fundamental component of our Nation's air dominance."
Col. John Kane, wing commander, briefed Congressman Gonzalez on current activities involving the Air National Guard unit's state and federal mission, as well as provided an update on the organization's consideration by defense department officials for conversion from the F-16 to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, an effort the congressman is actively supporting.
Additionally, Congressman Gonzalez toured an aircraft maintenance hangar and visited with members of the wing's leadership team.
"As an alumni and friend of the Lone Star Gunfighters (the unit's moniker), we're always happy to welcome Congressman Gonzalez home to the 149th Fighter Wing," said Colonel Kane. "We appreciate his efforts in support of our people and mission."