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Former Chief’s legacy lives on with street naming

By Airman 1st Class Tessa B. Corrick 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

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Barksdale honored a man who served over 50 years of combined active duty and Department of Defense civil service by dedicating a street to him.

Al Benner Street, which now runs between two Fabrication Flight buildings, was renamed after retired Chief Master Sgt. Alvin Benner, during a ceremony on November 7, 2018.

Benner was chosen to be memorialized for his work in the 2nd Maintenance Group as an Air Force Engineering and Technical Services (AFETS) specialist following his passing in late 2016.

"The decision was made to honor his commitment. Not many people I know give 50 years of service,” said Tim Adcock, 2nd MXG AFETS specialist who knew Benner for more than 17 years. “He worked right up until he couldn’t anymore. Al loved what he did. He loved serving and he loved mentoring Airmen.”

Benner began his active duty career in 1961. He was assigned to nine bases before concluding that phase of his life in 1994 at Barksdale. He served as the superintendent to the propulsion branch and for the 2nd Maintenance Squadron he was also a wing technical advisor. That same year Benner joined Team Barksdale on the civil service side to serve as an AFETS specialist.  

Initially a conference room was considered for his namesake, but support eventually grew and the decision was made to name a street after him instead. The process took about a year to get approved and completed.

“We chose the street between our two facilities because his time as a chief of this squadron and his 22 years as an AFETS allowed him to mentor Airmen on both sides of it,” Adcock said. “It was just fitting for us to do, it was meant to be.”

Benner’s family attended the dedication and ceremony making the event special, according to Mike Williams, who worked as an AFETS regional manager alongside Benner.

“It’s not very often that a family gets to see the effect that a person has in their professional life and how he was able to impact the lives around him,” Williams said. “What he did for everybody was tremendous.”

Benner’s son, Chet, said he and his family were honored to be a part of this ceremony memorializing his father.

“It’s hard to put into words how we feel. We’re truly humbled and in awe to see and hear his impact on the place he loved and lived for,” Chet said. “The military was so much more than a career to him. He was so proud to serve.”

There are 28 streets on Barksdale named in honor of individuals, with only four of them memorializing enlisted members. Benner was added to that list and his street will be a reminder to all those who pass.

“That man was the definition of tough and epitomizes what it means to be a chief,” Adcock said. “It makes me very proud to be able to honor him this way and look back on his legacy.”