Northeast Indiana Base Community Council 

  "America's Most Engaged Military Community!"


Luncheon Success!

Thanks so much to Gen. Arnold Bunch from Wright-Patterson AFB for being our guest speaker, even if he was remote. Today's event was a joint effort of the Northeast Indiana Defense Industry Association, Northeast Indiana Base Community Council and the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. Huge shoutout to Ceruti's Catering Inc for taking good care of us. Here are some photos

Col. Doug Schwartz (Air Force, retired) introduces guest speaker Gen. Arnold Bunch at the NIDIA/NIBCC/Regional Partnership luncheon Oct. 21 at Ceruti's Diamond Room.

Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr. speaks via teleconference during the Oct. 21 luncheon at Ceruti's Diamond Room in Fort Wayne. The event was a joint effort of the Northeast Indiana Defense Industry Association, Northeast Indiana Base Community Council and the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.

Eric Webster of L3Harris Corp. asks a question of Gen. Bunch during the luncheon.

Brian Evans of Invets talks with Patrick Dooley, past president of the Northeast Indiana Base Community Council after the luncheon.

The entre for lunch was almond crusted chicken with green beans and potatoes. Catering by Ceruti's

Veterans Connect 211 needs updated database

With Veterans Day approaching on Nov. 11, now is a good time to review and update your organization’s information in the 211 database.

Veterans Connect 211 is an affiliate of IN211, which strives to have the most comprehensive and up-to-date database of health and human service agencies across Indiana.

Be it health care support, financial assistance and counseling, legal assistance, or educational support, Veterans Connect 211 puts service members and their families in touch with agencies that can help. The program can even provide resources to help veterans and their families relocate to a new city, find housing, cope with the stress and logistics of a deployment, or transition back into civilian life.

If your business or agency provides services to U.S. military veterans, you need them to have the most current information about you. That is why Veterans Connect 211 is asking community organizations and veteran assistance groups to review and update their information in the 211 database.

Updating your information is fast and easy, and ensures people in our region can find you. 

To access the main IN211 database, go to and select “update your information.” Then follow the instructions in the Service Provider Search. Please make sure the database has your organization’s correct information, contacts, services, addresses and hours of operation.

To update your information by phone, call the IN211 resource team at (888) 211-2401 (press 2, then dial extension 200).  

Phone operators are available 24/7 to provide access to resources available to community members in northeast Indiana.

Also, Veterans Connect 211 will be running radio and TV ads in November, promoting the 211 phone line and database. Anyone wishing to donate to the marketing fund can send an email to

For more information about Veterans Connect 211, visit  For immediate access to veteran resources call or text 211.

Lt. Williams, squadron leader for the 293rd, shows off his Popeye muscles while working at the food bank. 

NIBCC and Associated Churches help USO buy refreshments for the troops

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on local food banks. At a time when demand is high due to the economic crisis, staffing needs have increased due to procedural changes. Families used to pick out their own food off the shelves, but to minimize contact, food banks are now assembling boxes of food in advance, which is more labor-intensive.

To help out during this difficult time, the Indiana Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 293rd Infantry Regiment has deployed several service members to Community Harvest Food Bank through Dec. 31. Troops are fed breakfast and dinner at the armory, and are given MRE’s (meals ready to eat) for lunch. But to help get them through the day, USO Indiana decided to send snacks and energy drinks to the soldiers.

Starting in August, the 1/293 was supplying 30 service personnel to help at the food bank on a daily basis. This triggered a response by the USO, which was fully supported by the Northeast Indiana Base Community Council, as well as Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County. The number of helpers was rolled back to 7 at the end of September, as many of the participants were deployed for other needs around the state.

To supply provisions through October, November and December, the NIBCC and Associated Churches collectively donated $525 to cover the costs of refreshments for the troops.

“We can’t thank the USO enough for what they’ve done for the National Guard, and also for us as a food bank,” said Carmen Cumberland, Community Harvest Executive President. “They provided food to fuel the soldiers, who then worked to provide food to families in need. A special thank you to Sarah and Carl Huber of the USO for working alongside us to meet the needs of the soldiers, the community and everyone who has been affected by this pandemic and economic fallout.”

COVID and Rain Don’t Stop Race For The Warrior

Postponed twice due to COVID-19 and facing a downpour of rain, the 6th Annual Race for the Warrior continued mission by welcoming hearty runners to FWA’s runway Aug. 1.

“Runners, volunteers and sponsors kept their promise to the military community and raised funds in spite of the pandemic,” said NIBCC then-President Patrick Dooley. The event raised more than $32,000 to assist military families in Northeast Indiana.

Race for the Warrior is a 5k/10k race/walk/ruck/roll that takes place on the runway of the Fort Wayne International Airport. This year’s event raised $32,280.68, with proceeds benefiting the Northeast Indiana Base Community Council's Military Support Fund and other year-round programs for members of all branches of the U.S. armed forces, veterans and military families. This fund provides one-time grants to local military members for emergency needs, allowing the service member to focus on the mission of serving our country and communities.

This year’s event served as an example for how to handle a socially distanced race in the midst of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Back on Track Indiana plan to safely open Indiana’s economy while protecting Hoosier health during the pandemic. Runners were socially distanced at the starting line, groups were separated into five heats and participants were required to wear face coverings when not racing, eating or drinking. Also, instead of having one large tent with all the food, drinks, and entertainment, organizers had each activity in a separate booth to accommodate social distancing needs.

A total of 415 registrants signed up for the race, with 256 participating — with 25 runners enrolling the day of the event and six people choosing to participate in the virtual run option instead of racing with the group.

The winner of the 5k race was Michael Cheezan of Wauseon, Ohio, with a clocked time of 15:57.5. The fastest woman was Hidi Gaff of Fort Wayne, who came in 8th overall with a time of 19:19.9.

In the 10k race, Fg Garcia of Goshen, came in first at 35:07.1. The fastest woman in that race was Lisa Roe of Angola who ranked 5th overall with a time of 44:19.7.

There were 10 paralympians from the US Men's and Women's National Goalball Team. First place went to Elizabeth Daugherty of Tucson with a time of 1:04:38.

The event was co-chaired by CPT Eric Flores (Army, Ret.) and SGT Jim Garigen (Army, Medically Ret.). After this year’s race, Garigen stepped down and will be replaced by MSgt Joe Lewis (Indiana Air National Guard/previously Marine Corps), who served as logistics chair this year.

The 7th Annual Race for the Warrior is scheduled for July 24, 2021 at 9 a.m. at the Fort Wayne International Airport.

For more information on Race for the Warrior, visit To learn more about the Northeast Indiana Base Community Council, visit

Gen. Bunch headlines October speaker luncheon

Gen. Arnold W. Bunch, Jr., will deliver the keynote address at the next quarterly speaker luncheon, scheduled for Oct. 21 at Ceruti's Diamond Room. Gen. Bunch is the Commander, Air Force Materiel Command, headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

He is responsible for installation and mission support, discovery and development, test and evaluation, life cycle management services and sustainment of virtually every major Air Force weapon system. The command employs approximately 80,000 people and manages $60 billion of budget authority annually.

He was commissioned in 1984 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and completed undergraduate pilot training in 1985. He completed operational assignments as an instructor, evaluator and aircraft commander for the B-52 Stratofortress. Following graduation from the Air Force Test Pilot School, Bunch conducted developmental testing in the B-2 Spirit and B-52 and served as an instructor in each. Additionally, he has commanded at the squadron, group, wing, and center levels. Prior to his current assignment, he was the military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology, and logistics at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.

This event will be co-sponsored with the Northeast Indiana Defense Industry Association (NIDIA) and the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.

Ceruti's Diamond Ballroom is located at 6601 Innovation Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46818. Doors open from 11:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $18.50 and available through Eventbrite.



After a regional search for the right leader to take over the reins of the Northeast Indiana Base Community Council, the board of directors named longtime board member Carl Huber as its president. Huber was sworn in at the group’s meeting Sept. 9. His term will run through March 2022. He has served on the board since 2014.

Huber replaces outgoing president Patrick Dooley who will remain on the board as immediate past president.

“Carl brings a wealth of business and nonprofit experience to his role as president,” Dooley said. “His years of service as an NIBCC board member, combined with his work with the USO, will serve our organization as we continue to bridge the civilian and business community with our military community.”

Huber worked for 32 years at WaterFurnace International and recently retired as vice president of quality and sustainability. He now works part time in that same capacity for WaterFurnace. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Tulsa. He is a board member of Northeast Indiana Honor Flight and former president and CEO of USO Indiana. He currently serves on the USO Advisory Board. He was honored this past year with the American Society of Heating Refrigerating & Air Conditioning Engineers’ Distinguished Public Service Award for his work with these organizations.  

“I am humbled and deeply honored to be elected president of the NIBCC,” Huber said. “The NIBCC has special meaning to me as one of the most respected nonprofits in Indiana. It has a very passionate and dedicated board of directors that wants to support active-duty military personnel. I hope to continue that tradition to expand the outreach and synergy within the region.” 

Also during the meeting, the board expanded its executive committee and elected board member Jim Garigen to serve as member-at-large. Garigen served as the co-chair for the organization’s Race for the Warrior fundraiser for the past four years and founded Invisible Vets, an organization that serves to reduce veteran homelessness.

Other appointments made that day were Nicole Keesling as events chair, and Lisa Mungovan as membership chair. 

Since 2011, the Northeast Indiana Base Community Council has served as a catalyst in unifying the military, civilian and business communities of the 11 counties of Northeast Indiana. Its mission is to create the most engaged military region in the United States through awareness, collaboration, advocacy, workforce development and leadership. That mission is accomplished by connecting people to programs, building a network of support for service members and their families.

For more information on the Northeast Indiana Base Community Council, visit

Northeast Indiana Base Community Council

P.O. Box 25506

Fort Wayne, IN 46825

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