HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Tom O’Donnell, Hanscom’s new honorary command chief, met with Chief Master Sgt. William Hebb to learn more about the installation during a visit here Sept. 29.
Hebb, the installation command chief, nominated O’Donnell for the honorary position for his extensive work as the senior director of innovation initiatives at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
“Bringing Tom on as the honorary command chief will be very beneficial because of his great ideas regarding innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Hebb. “There’s a lot of space in that arena for us to improve links with our service members and the local communities and expand collaborative opportunities.”
Hebb added that appointing O’Donnell will help in continuing to develop an already strong partnership between UMass Lowell and the base.
“I accepted this role because of the opportunity to work closely with Team Hanscom and to reach out to the folks here on base, connect with them, and drive new innovation initiatives and support activities here,” said O’Donnell
O’Donnell also met with Col. Katrina Stephens, installation commander, and received briefings on the 66th Air Base Group’s mission and an overview of the base and its operations before taking a windshield tour of the installation.
“I learned more about what happens on base and how the activities here not only support the Air Force, but help connect with the broader community,” said O’Donnell.
The visit also included a stop at the Hanscom Collaboration and Innovation Center, also known as the Lantern, where O’Donnell received a briefing from Executive Director Lt. Col. Darren Edmonds.
“By promoting collaboration and innovation across the Hanscom workforce, the stakeholder community and the program offices, we can advance the work that needs to be done by Team Hanscom,” Edmonds said.
Hanscom has a formal education partnership with UMass Lowell and Edmonds said that O’Donnell’s honorary position would benefit both organizations as well as the local innovation ecosystem.
“I think it’s exciting that we have this opportunity to develop that kind of person-to-person interaction,” said Edmonds.
The visit concluded with a conversation between O’Donnell and Hebb about future efforts and ideas to expand the partnership while building an enduring, long-term association.
“I appreciate the partnership that we have and am looking forward to building on that,” said Hebb.