Dyess’ 7th Bomb Wing commander can handle all national security threats, including zombies
If hordes of the walking dead ever rush the main gate at Dyess Air Force Base, Abilenians can rest easy: The commander of the 7th Bomb Wing has a plan.
Not only is Brig. Gen. Glen VanHerck charged with providing highly-trained airmen and dominant air power to any national security mission around the world, but he’s also prepared to handle a zombie apocalypse.
VanHerck’s blueprint for battling brain-eaters came in response to an online question in the “Commander’s Corner,” a digital Q-and-A forum for Dyess personnel.
In June, a member of the Dyess community asked “What is the wing king’s zombie preparedness plan? I’m curious to see how he plans to survive if there ever is one.”
VanHerck’s response went viral in the Air Force community — even grabbing the attention of the Air Force Times, which spoofed it in its digital comic series.
But the newly promoted brigadier general said the purpose of his anti-zombie plan was to make him appear more human, shall we say, in the eyes of airmen.
“My intent was never to garner the attention of Air Force Times, but rather I wanted to show Team Dyess, our families and the local community, that I am approachable,” VanHerck told the Reporter-News.
“One of the best parts of the job is meeting and interacting with our airmen and their families, and I wanted our folks to know that no question is too menial or silly for me to address,” he said, “and I am genuinely interested in what our airmen have to say.”
In answering the online question, VanHerck didn’t hesitate to lay out his masterful, yet imaginative action plan against the walking dead. First, he would make sure the base is secure.
Next, “To get the word out about the zombie attack or possible other events, we’d need to alert our personnel by posting notifications to the Dyess Air Force Base website, social media and the Commander’s Access Channel.”
Then, he said “to protect our assets and the installation, I would direct our civil engineers and logistics readiness squadron to use their equipment to further fortify the base, adding physical barriers in addition to our gates and fences.”
Civilians wouldn’t be left out of the plan. The base would use its C-130Js to airdrop food and supplies to Abilene neighborhoods. After all of this, the base would unleash its B-1Bs to take out the zombies.
At least, that’s how VanHerck imagines it.
“Where’s the fun in being the commander of one of the Air Force’s premiere bases if I can’t plot a zombieapocalypse response plan in my downtime,” VanHerck joked. “And what has the world come to if I can’t laugh — even at myself — every once in a while?”
VanHerck said he’s happy to see his response receive so much attention because it helps foster a fun and healthy environment on the base. He said he’s now getting feedback from airmen and families who laughed at the comic.
“I’m glad that the comic has prompted further dialogue between me and Team Dyess. That’s just what the Commander’s Corner was designed to do,” VanHerck said.
“I am thinking of printing a copy of the comic for my office — I think it is a reminder to remain humble and approachable, and to always keep laughter in my life,” he said.