37th Training Wing receives new leader

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  • By C Arce
  • 37th Training Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas — Col. Lauren Courchaine took the reins of the 37th Training Wing from Col. Rockie Wilson June 10, during a change of command ceremony here.

Maj. Gen. Michele Edmondson, 2nd Air Force commander, presided over the ceremony and highlighted the importance of the wing’s mission to train, educate, develop and inspire Airmen, and to strengthen U.S. and international partnerships.

“The pace of this wing is constant, and, on some days, perhaps best described as relentless,” Edmondson said. “You only need to watch one graduation parade, one coin ceremony, one dog handler, one altitude chamber ride, one English class at DLI [Defense Language Institute English Language Center], listen to one IAAFA [Inter-American Air Forces Academy] class in Spanish, hold one puppy or have one parent say to you ‘thank you for what you did for my son or daughter,’ to convince you there is something magical about the 37th Training Wing.”

During her speech, Edmondson congratulated Wilson on his accomplishments during his two-year tenure, including initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If you know Rockie Wilson, words like ‘good enough’ or ‘status quo’ never come out of his mouth,” Edmondson said. Addressing Wilson, she said, “The Air Force owes you a huge debt of gratitude for everything you and this wing have done to guarantee the readiness of the force during one of the most difficult and defining periods of our Air Force. Thank you for defining what right looks like for every single Airman who passed through the Gateway Wing over the last two years.”

Courchaine took the podium, addressing her wing for the first time, and showed gratitude to her family, friends and wing staff.

“I am humbled and excited to be part of your team,” Courchaine said. “My philosophy is very simple. We’re a family, and as such, I would ask that you all treat each other with dignity and respect. We are members of the finest military in the world, and integrity is an indisputable indicator of our character and culture. Without it, our Air and Space Forces, partners and allies will not function with the lethality and precision necessary to maintain our military superiority.”

Courchaine also reminded her new team that growth involves risk, meaning failures will occur, “When [failures] do happen, I ask that you learn fast, share widely and re-engage quickly. Our nation deserves it.”

Prior to becoming the 43rd commander of the 37th TRW, Courchaine commanded the 67th Cyberspace Operations Group here on Security Hill.

The Gateway Wing, as the largest, most diverse training wing in the Air Force, provides the foundational training and education to develop multi-capable Airmen, Guardians and sister service members; strengthens and sustains U.S. and international partnerships through English language and special skills training for allied forces; and is the executive agent for the Military Working Dog program training both two-legged and four-legged students.

Wilson will head to the Pentagon as the director of A8-XP to facilitate budget planning.