Community Groups Partner to Support Airmen at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

The Desert Thunder Squadron and Tucson Young Professionals launched an innovative community engagement and mentorship program this spring in support of airmen at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

With the support and sponsorship of DTS, any airmen on base aged 18-45 can opt-in to membership with TYP and access the full array of TYP resources, programming and services provided for Tucson networking and connection, professional development, and community impact. DTS will also work with TYP to curate a specially designed community mentorship program for select airmen. Spouses and partners of airmen on Base will be eligible to access TYP membership. 

“There is often a disconnect between the broader community, the Base, and the airmen who serve there,” said Bruce Wright, vice commander of the squadron. “DTS wanted to do its part to close that gap, connect everyone together, and provide mentorship and resources to DM airmen,” 

DTS, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is an alumni association of community honorary commanders of DMAFB in support of the men, women, families and mission of the base. 

“We’ve dreamed for years of an opportunity like this, to serve young professionals 18-45 on Base, but we needed community champions who could help support that partnership,” said Zach Yentzer, executive director of TYP. “Collaborating with DTS was the perfect answer to our mutual goal of retaining and supporting incredible talent in our community. Both new airmen for whom DM is their first assignment, and those in their 30s and 40s who are serving their last assignment in the Air Force at DM and are exploring whether Tucson can be their long-term home going forward,” 

TYP, a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization, is the largest membership association in Arizona serving professionals 21-45 across all industries and sectors, nearing 1,000 members.

“We didn’t want to reinvent the wheel,” said Mark Irvin, commander of DTS. “With its pillars of connection, professional growth, and community engagement, TYP stood out immediately as the ideal organization for airmen on base to get connected in community while they’re here, but also for emerging leaders in Tucson to become better connected with the Base. Why not just plug-and-play into what’s already working? We’re excited about the all-access pass we’ve been able to provide our airmen to all that TYP has to offer.” 

DMAFB Commander Col. Scott Mills, has been in support of this collaboration from the beginning: “Mark and I began working together over the last year in our respective roles, and knew right from the beginning that we wanted to do something impactful,” he said. “We wanted to bridge the gap between the community and base and serve our airmen. I think we’ve achieved that in a relatively short period of time and we look forward to getting our airmen connected!”

DMAFB is one of the largest installations and flying operations in the USAF, with 34 mission partners, more than 46,000 personnel, 152 aircraft and 51 billion dollars in assets. 

Brendan Lyons, a member of both TYP and DTS, added “I’ve gotten to see the value of organizations like TYP for the growth and development of emerging leaders in Tucson- with my role on the Desert Thunder Squadron, I want young professionals to see what’s happening on Base, and for our Base airmen to get really plugged into all the Tucson has to offer. Our hope is that more and more organizations will join this partnership so we can scale, and that we can be a model for other communities.”  

At the time of this release, the DMAFB support group Winers and Diners has provided additional financial support to the partnership, for which DTS expresses gratitude and appreciation.

Pictured above from left –  Mark Irvin, Zach Yentzer, Col. Scott Mills, Brendan Lyons, Bruce Wright 
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