United States Air Force Col. Nick Desport said his recent visit to the Mahoning Valley was special for him. The feeling is mutual.
Desport, command civil engineer, visited the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna recently for the ribbon cutting of new lodging at the 910th Airlift Wing. This is the $10 million second phase of the Eagle's Nest lodging facility that provides 80 rooms that resemble hotel accommodations more than military barracks.
This enables reservists who train on the station to be housed together rather than stay at various hotels around the area. A phase 3 will add 63 rooms.
Desport took part in the grand opening because, as the command civil engineer responsible for the planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance of all facilities for 67,500 reservists and 37 flying wings, including the 910th, he frequently visits the installations under his purview.
This visit was special, he said, because the 1977 Warren Western Reserve High School graduate grew up in the Mahoning Valley and he, along with his wife, was able to take his mother to dinner.
But this is also special for the entire Valley to reflect on one of its more distinguished citizens.
Desport, who will retire in September after 30 years in the service, is a recipient of the SAME Newman Medal given in honor of Maj. Gen. James B. Newman Jr., for outstanding contributions to military engineering by a civilian or military member of the U.S. Air Force. He previously served as commander of the 437th Mission Support Group, 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. Before that he was chief of design at the Comiso Air Station in Sicily, worked as a civil engineering staff officer at the Pentagon and served as a White House social aide to President George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He has had many other prestigious assignments and is now stationed at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia.
Desport is the son of Mary Ann and the late Victor Desport.
It was an honor to welcome Col. Desport back to our community. We salute him.