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Joint Base Andrews Features

NEWS | June 28, 2012

Capital Flyer takes final flight

By Bobby Jones 11th Wing Public Affairs

After more than seven decades, the Capital Flyer newspaper makes its final flight today, ending a rich legacy that dates back to the inception of "The Springboard," the first base newspaper at Camp Springs Army Air Base.

As I write this, my last Capital Flyer entry, I do so with mixed emotions. I'm excited about the future and how the 11th Wing Public Affairs office's seasoned and Defense Information School-trained warriors will utilize social media resources and web-based mediums to accurately tell the Air Force story.

Having served as a contract photographer with the 89th Airlift, 316th Wing and now 11th Wing Public Affairs staff since1998, a bit of sadness comes to mind when I think about having to say goodbye to the Capital Flyer.

As a retired military member and bonafide member of the 'Baby Boomer' generation, I'll miss that warm and fuzzy feeling of sitting in my comfortable chair, drinking a hot cup of joe and reading the 'haps' at Joint Base Andrews via the Capital Flyer. However, I understand that I should not worry too much, because there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

In replace of the Capital Flyer, COMPRINT Military Publications, the paper'scurrent publisher, will be launching a civilian newspaper, entitled the "Andrews Gazette," July 6. Chris Basham will serve as the new publication's editor.

Basham is a respected journalist and photographer who has written stories for several civilian and military magazines/newspapers in the Maryland area as well as abroad in southeast Asia. Basham grew up in a neighborhood nestled between Fort George G. Meade and the U.S. Naval Academy, listening to stories of her father's service in the Air Force during the Vietnam conflict. From that experience, stemmed her passion for communicating stories with impact which can make a difference to readers.

Per the new Andrews Gazette paper, Basham expressed her thoughts about covering important events on Andrews and the neighboring local community.

"In an era when so many news organizations are backing away from print media, there is value in a news product to which readers can hold, flip through and take notes on over breakfast," said Basham. "I look forward to continuing to cover the latest news on Joint Base Andrews while also exploring the events and people in the surrounding community."

The "Andrews Gazette" will also publish military news periodically pulled from the Joint Base Andrews website,, and "The Andrews Defender," Andrews' weekly electronic newsletter that is slated to launch July 6 as well.

The Andrews Defender's electronic news format makes it an instant and viable source of information that will further keep Joint Base Andrews members connected with the latest news, feature stories, photos and videos.

Just as past public affairs ancestors stationed on Andrews were proud to serve you, it has always been our privilege and intent to provide Joint Base Andrews members with the most-professional, expedient and cost-effective means of news dissemination. The Defender, along with the new Andrews Gazette will surely accomplish both efforts.

As a parting gift, we would like to take you on a retrospective walk down memory lane through the display of some the Capital Flyer's best feature stories and photographs as well as highlight the paper's long-standing and rich lineage.

The following is a list of name changes of the base newspaper and the time frames in which they occurred. The Capital Flyer Legacy "The Springboard" launched in July of 1944. It was the base's first newspaper and was name after the Camp Springs Army Air Base. On Feb. 26, 1945, the newspaper changed its name to the "Andrews Field News" until it became "Wings over Washington" in 1947.

The paper's named was later changed to the "Andrews Ambassador" in January 1949. On June 13, 1958, the Andrews and Bolling Information Offices received Air Force Headquarters Command approval to combine their newspaper staffs in order to serve the internal information needs of both bases. Thus, resulting in the merger and birth of the paper entitled the "Ambassador-Beam." Later, on Nov.16, 1962, the paper changed its name again to the "Gateway." This paper received its name from the unofficial base motto - "Aerial gateway to the Nation's Capital."

It wasn't until Sept. 12, 1969, that the Capital Flyer began its publication. Although a contracted agreement of the Capital Flyer was signed several weeks before its publication, the paper was nameless. Col. Ben Matlick, base commander then, offered Andrews base personnel a chance to name it through the means of a daily bulletin notice. After careful consideration, the "Capital Flyer" title was chosen.

Today, the "Capital Flyer" lowers its landing gear for a graceful descent to take its place next to its paper predecessors in the annals of Andrews' history.

This is our final flight. We hope you enjoyed the journey and we look forward to your continued support when we make our maiden flight with the introduction of the "Andrews
Gazette" and the online "Defender," coming July 6.