Keesler commander full of surprises - - The News for South Mississippi

Keesler commander full of surprises

General Brad Spacy took command of Keesler Air Force base back in May of this year. On a daily basis he is in charge of about 12,000 military and civilian personnel.

2013 will be a big year for the base, since it is under consideration to be named the top Air Force Base in the country. 

As 2012 comes to an end, Jeff Lawson recently had a chance to sit down with General Spacy.

Suffice to say, Brad Spacy is an interesting man, and perhaps not what you would typically expect in a military man.

He grew up on the West Coast, and had aspirations of becoming a professional actor. He also had a chance to do some modeling for various talent agencies. But eventually he decided to follow his father's footsteps and go to the Air Force Academy. He has never regretted that decision.

But back to our comment that he may not be exactly what you expect.

One look around his office and you begin to understand.

One of the first things you can't help but notice is a construction helmet signed by the rapper, Vanilla Ice. So, the obvious question is: How did these two become such friends?

"I met through another guy when we were both doing charity events," Spacy said.

"We just hit it off. He came to visit me at my other bases and hang out with the airmen, and I go to concerts when I can, if I am in the area."

Among the other autographed pictures, is one from Ronald Reagan.

"I had lunch with him, but not when he was President," General Spacy said. "It was actually way back when I was a kid and he was the Governor of California."

General Spacy also has a small bookshelf in his office. It is one book in particular that caught our attention, the Guinness Book of World Records.

"I keep one here, just in case people don't believe me," he said with a chuckle.

Hard to believe, but decades ago, Brad Spacy set a record with the world's longest kiss. Just in case it comes up in conversation and someone does not believe him, he keeps the book nearby. 

Of course, with a smile on his face, the General said that was long before Brad Spacy became a husband and father. Now, he and his wife have two grown daughters.

Although he enjoys life to its fullest, when it comes to work Brad Spacy is all business.

Those who know the General describe him as hard working, dedicated and fair.

He concedes that the work is all consuming, but quickly adds that he thrives on it.

"I love the job, I love the mission, I love this base," he told us.

Years ago, when Spacy served at Keesler, retired base Commander, General Clark Griffith of Biloxi was his mentor.

Now, it just seems like a natural fit that he is back here.

Soon to turn 50, there is no doubt that Brad Spacy has a lot of years ahead of him in the U.S. Air Force. But, when it comes time to retire, he just might try that career he thought about decades ago.

"Hey, that acting thing, " he laughed. "There is no age limit on that. I just might give it a shot one day, who knows?"

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly