A local man was honored at Tyndall Air Force Base for being the first Chief Master Sergeant of the U.S. Air Force.
Paul Airey was not only the first Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, but the Tyndall N.C.O. Academy, of which he is a graduate, is now named after him.
A ceremony to honor the Master Chief and to rename the academy after him took place at the Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Tyndall.
In 1942, Airey enlisted in the Army Air Force and served until 1973.
"In 1942 I had gone through basic training for radio operator school and in the spring of 1943 I got off a troop train in downtown Panama City, and those of you locally know that there is a bone of contention about that building whether to save it or not. if they ask my advice, I'll tell them what to do with it. I came out to Tyndall for gunner school and my barracks was building 1309, which is now the veteran clinic, so things have really changed.”
Airey continues to be a strong advocate for enlisted military education and spends much of his time speaking with the young airman at the academy.