50 years of excellence at BEAR Base

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Antonio Salfran
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs

Flexibility is the key to airpower.

For the past 50 years, the 635th Materiel Maintenance Group has been one of the most flexible units, also known as the Basic Expeditionary Airfield Resources Base. Their mission is to deploy “anytime, anywhere, at a moment’s notice.”

The Airmen and civilians of BEAR base celebrated those 50 years of excellence with current and prior service members during a celebration May 5th, 2022, here.

“We have a general understanding of our history and culture here,” said Lt. Col. Rebecca Corbin, 635th Materiel Maintenance Squadron commander. “But when we have the opportunity to have prior service members such as Col. Hartman, who have lived through that history, come and speak to all these younger Airmen, it’s pretty incredible.”

In 1972, Col. Charles Hartman came to Holloman to activate the 449th Mobility Support Squadron and serve as its first commander. The 449th MOBSS re-designated to the 49th Materiel Maintenance Group also known as Bare Base, and has since been redesignated as the 635th Materiel Maintenance Group, also known as BEAR Base.

BEAR Base has proven to be integral to the Department of Defense time and time again. Initially being developed to package forces and support equipment, BEAR Base has been writing itself into the Air Force doctrine.

Though its importance is not to be understated, Corbin expresses that she and other BEAR Base leadership want to advertise and showcase the capabilities of the unit.  

“If we can go to a place with just a runway and some water, we can build you a base,” said Corbin. “I want people to know that we bring the initial setup capability, we bring to the fight.”

To advertise and honor such feats, plans for a 50th anniversary ceremony began approximately 8 months prior to the event.

The positon of project director was given to Steve Dean, a systems port flight chief at BEAR Base. Dean has been at Holloman for 34 years and at BEAR Base for 32.

“I’ve been here for a long time, and I know so many people from all over BEAR Base,” said Dean. “So this was very special to me, it’s been special being able to work here.”

After honoring the past 50 years, there’s nothing but progress in sight for the years to come.

“We have done such a good job here,” said Dean. “And as time moves forward, we’ll only continue to get better, we have a great group of military and civilian personnel who keep us mission ready.”