Honoring retired Col. Charles E. Powell

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ashley Thrash
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

During a dedication ceremony on Sept. 10, the event center will be re-named the Powell Event Center in honor of U.S. Air Force Retired Col. Charles E. Powell, a previous commander of the 3480th Technical Training Wing at Goodfellow Air Force, who continued to support the community and base until he passed.

Powell graduated from the United States Naval Academy and earned a Master of Science degree in industrial engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. After the Naval Academy, Powell commissioned into the Air Force and graduated from multi-engine school at Reese AFB, Texas in August 1955 as a pilot.

After multiple assignments, Powell was assigned to Goodfellow where he became the commander and restructured the entire base. Under Powell’s leadership, the base was removed from the closure list, a new Precision Acquisition Vehicle Entry Phased Array Warning System site was built, and Goodfellow was named the home for all intelligence training Air Force wide.

When Powell retired in 1984, his partnership with the base and the surrounding community continued. Powell sponsored college scholarships for Goodfellow members, sat on multiple boards for the city and co-founded San Angelo’s annual Goodfellow AFB Military Appreciation Day Picnic.

“It’s important, especially in regards to heritage, to remember that there’s stories to tell and lessons to learn about the people and the things they have done,” said Chris Ashcraft, 17th Force Support Squadron unit training manager. “The biggest thing with Charlie and Joanne Powell is that they didn’t stop contributing to the military or the community after retiring. Col. Powell continued to look out for people and use his influence for good.”

Powell passed away July 2, 2020 at the age of 89.

Along with the building dedication, there will be awards, plaques, coins and uniforms from Powell’s career on display in the Powell Event Center.